Round 9 preview. Panthers vs Cowboys

Source: NRL.com

Penrith Panthers vs North Queensland Cowboys 
Friday 4th of May
Carrington Park
7:55pm AEST

The NRL heads to the bush for the 2nd Friday night game of round 9 with the Penrith Panthers taking a home game out to Bathurst, they are hosting the North Queensland Cowboys who will be trying to get revenge after the round 4 loss to the Panthers.

The Panther's have won 3 from 4 at Bathurst and it would be starting to feel like a home away from home for the men from the foot of the mountain. For the Cowboys this is pretty much a must win match or the pre-season premiership favourites can kiss any finals chances goodbye.

Team lists:

Panthers: 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Isaah Yeo, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Tyrone Phillips, 6 Tyrone Peachey, 7 James Maloney, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Peter Wallace, 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Corey Harawira-Naera, 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 Tom Eisenhuth, 21 Kaide Ellis

Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O'Neill, 4 Ben Hampton, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Matthew Scott (c), 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 Corey Jensen, 17 Ethan Lowe

Reserves: 18 Francis Molo, 19 Jake Clifford, 20 Javid Bowen, 21 Sam Hoare

Key Match ups:

Maloney vs Morgan

With the injury to Cleary, Maloney has stepped up very similar to what Morgan done last year and led the Panthers on a run that's sees them inside the NRL's top 4, which looks to have secured him another Blues jersey.

On the other side of the field Morgan hasn't been half the player he was last year, with the return of JT putting a spanner in the works. This has resulting in some fans to say he doesn't deserve an origin spot. With Origin around the corner I'm expecting both these players to have a key influence in tonights match. 

Campbell-Gillard vs Scott

Out with the old in with the new. Campbell-Gillard rightfully got Scott's Australian spot in last year's World Cup due to the unfortunate injury that's Scott suffered early last season. And I'm one that's hopeful that that selection will add a little bit of spice to this match.

Both men are the leaders of their respective packs and will be expected to dominate the opposition. Adding to that, both players look like a certainty to start at props for their respective states so a win tonight will not only help their teams on the ladder but add that fuel to the fire when Origin comes around in a few weeks.

The Young Wingers vs The Cowboys

Due to the injuries at the foot of the mountain, the Panthers have been forced into making another change with Phillips called up to make his club debut, in which it will be only his 7th NRL career match, the same as his fellow winger Crichton.

Both players will be placed under pressure all night, whether it's from the boot of JT or Morgan, the attack and amazing try scoring abilities of Feldt and Winterstein. The inexperienced pair will have their work cut out for them, but if they can come of the field and say they got the better of their opposing wingers there's a good chance the Panther's get home.

Prediction:
This has all the makings to be the match of the round. Origin spots up for grabs, Australian team mates against each other, some of the best up and comers against some of the best the game has seen. But even with the increasing injury toll I've got the Panther's coming out on top in a high scoring match.
Panther's by 8.

Boom

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