MATCH PREVIEW: Round 2 v Melbourne @ AAMI Park
Round 2, 2014 NYC
Saturday 15th March
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Nick Morel
PANTHERS: 1.Brent Naden, 2. Joshua Jay, 3. Jarryd Dodd, 4. Regan Haika, 5. Solofa Silipa, 6. Sione Katoa, 7. Sam Scarlett, 8. Andy Saunders (c), 9. Josh Tangitau, 10. Myles Taueli, 11. Chris Smith, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Brendan Attwood
Interchange: 14. Corey Harawira, 15. Atonio Pelasasa, 16. Wellington Albert, 17. Moses Leota, 18. Jarrod Brackenhofer
Coach: Trent Barrett
STORM: 1. Tremaine Jensen, 2. Tony Tumusa, 3. Josh Cullen-Minhinnick, 4. Niua Finau-Puaka, 5. Suliasi Vunivalu, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jake Turpin, 8. Christian Welch (c), 9. Billy Brittain, 10. Matt Lodge, 11. Una Mohi, 12. Nelson Asofa – Solomona, 13. Rhys Kennedy
Interchange: 14. Billy Kitt, 15. Eli Vole, 16. Francis Tualau, 17. Vincent Rennie
Coach: Matt Adamson
It’s hard to believe that one of these two stellar Under 20’s sides will be going home winless on Saturday after two rounds. Both suffered losses last weekend after strong but at times inconsistent performances.
The Panthers started their match in top form and for the first half they defended well, scored tries and went into the halftime break with an 18-6 lead. But the second 40 minutes was like a bad dream, and they let the Knights put 28 points on the board to come away with the win.
It was a similar situation for Melbourne who conceded 28 unanswered points in their first half against Manly, which they never recovered from.
But there were moments of brilliance for both sides and those glimmers of hope will be put to the test this weekend.
Our heavy hitters Chris Smith, Sione Katoa and Captain Andy Saunders were instrumental in creating momentum for us and Coach Trent Barrett will be relying on them again this week to guide the team through. Our wingers were also very strong and we’ll need to use them more if we’re going to score points against the Storm.
Brent Naden was outstanding at fullback last week and Baz will be keeping him out the back of the pack to guide the team again. Speedster Sam Scarlett returns in the halves for us after an injury-plagued 2013, and Bryce Cartwright returns after having off-season wrist surgery, so we can’t wait to see what they two playmakers come up with!
Storm centre Josh Minhinnick, Pride Petterson-Robati and Rhys Kennedy will be the players we need to watch out for. They were consistent and created try-scoring opportunities last weekend, so we’ll want to shut them down before they get too close to their line.
Penrith has the experience and talent in this side to dominate this game and come away with the win, and if they can play the way they did in last weekend’s first half, for the full 80 minutes this week, we should put our first points on the board.