Round 8 Preview: Panthers v Bulldogs

Penrith Panthers vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
Venue: Panthers Stadium.
Date: Friday, April 27th.
Time: 7:55pm.

Penrith Panthers: 1 Dylan Edwards, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Corey Harawira-Naera, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Tyrone Peachey, 7 James Maloney, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Peter Wallace (c), 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14 Sione Katoa, 15 Jack Hetherington, 16 Moses Leota, 17 James Tamou
Reserves: 18 Wayde Egan, 19 Nick Lui-Toso, 20 Thomas Eisenhuth, 21 Kaide Ellis

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson (c), 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14 Asipeli Fine, 15 Danny Fualalo, 16 Greg Eastwood, 17 Kerrod Holland
Reserves: 18 John Olive, 19 Rhyse Martin, 20 Renouf Toomaga, 21 Matthew Frawley

Game Preview.
We have the high flying Penrith Panthers taking on the lowly placed Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in what should be a cracker of a game.

The Panthers have been quite the surprise package so far! Most of us knew they would be a top 8 team, however with the loss of Nathan Cleary in the last Panthers vs Bulldogs game, most of us thought it would see the drop in the Panthers form, and possibly see them drop out of the 8. The loss of young Cleary saw the Panthers go 3/3 until their loss last week to the Sharks, and a super star form lift from half James Maloney who has stood up immensely since the loss of Cleary. The Panthers have shown us this year that they are not only a top 8 team this season, but pushing for a top 4 finish.

The Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs have been a huge disappointment in 2018 so far, and although it’s no surprise to me who had the Dogs of war as my wooden spoon tip in 2018, many thought they would be a team who would push for the top 8. The form of big boys Aaron Woods and David Klemmer has most definitely improved, and they are working as hard as required, but despite the lift in intensity, the Bulldogs still aren’t winning, and it’s something that they as a team need to fix as soon as possible if the Dogs wish to fight for the 8.

Key Match Ups.

Match Up #1: Kieran Foran vs James Maloney.

Despite the poor form by the Dogs, Foran has been quite impressive. He hasn’t been the super star signing, but he’s definitely been a big influence for the Bulldogs.

James Maloney... what a turn around the last month has been for him. Since the loss of Cleary, he’s been simply unreal! Haven’t seen a player shoot up the Dally M leaderboard so quickly before!

Match Up #2: Moses Mbye vs Dylan Edwards.

Moses Mbye has settled in nicely with the #1 jersey. He’s been the much needed spark out back for the Dogs, and his ability to break tackles and create space has been amazing to watch.

The young fullback from Penrith has been a breathe of fresh air for the Panthers fans. After years of having an unsettled fullback, young Dylan Edwards has answered the call.

Match Up #3: David Klemmer vs Regan Campbell-Gillard.

David Klemmer started the year a little slow, but his work effort over the last fortnight has been one of the best in the NRL. If he continues this form, the Bulldog’s luck should change.

What a year it’s been for Panthers big boy RCG! He’s been one of the best Props in the game so far in 2018, and is in contention and almost guaranteed a NSW Blues jersey. Don’t expect that form to drop anytime soon.

Stonecold’s Predictions: Panthers by 4.
I expect a close game here. But I’m going with the Panthers. Off the back of a loss and fighting to keep a spot in the top 4, I expect a big game from Penrith. The Dogs have been better up front and are starting to figure it out, but I don’t see them being good enough to beat the Panthers at home.



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