Round 2, 2014 NSW CUP

Saturday 15th March

Kickoff: 6.00pm

Venue: Morry Breen Oval, Kanwal

Referee: Chris Treneman

LAST TIME THEY MET – Penrith defeated Melbourne 12-10 @ Centrebet Stadium

HEAD TO HEAD – Played 26; Melbourne 19, Penrith 7

TEAMS –

PANTHERS – 1.DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK, 2.EDDIE AIONO, 3.WILL SMITH, 4.TOM EISENHUTH, 5.KEVIN NAIQAMA, 6.DANIEL FOSTER, 7.ISAAC JOHN, 8.SAM ANDERSON, 9.KIERRAN MOSELEY, 10.SHAUN SPENCE, 11.MATT ROBINSON, 12.NATHAN SMITH, 13.RYAN SIMPKINS

Interchange: 14. REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD, 15. LIAM AYOUB, 16. LEILANI LATU, 17. IAIN RICCARDI, 18. SAKEO DIBECI

 COACH: GARTH BRENNAN

ROOS – 1. GRANT NELSON, 2. KYLE MACGREGOR, 3. JAY FLORIMO, 4. DALE CLACHERTY, 5. SUNAI FATIALOFA, 6. ALEX LANGBRIDGE, 7. DARREN NICHOLLS, 8. MARK O’MELEY, 9. MITCH WILLIAMS ©, 10. MAGNUS STROMQUIST, 11. SAM BERNSTROM, 12. TEKINA VAILEA, 13. BROCK MOLAN

Interchange: 14. SHAUN BOSS, 15. INOKE VUNIPOLA, 16. ADAM SHAW, 17. TYLA HEPI, 18. SIMON HAWTHORNE, 19. TODD LEWIS, 20. KEIREN GALLAGHER, 21. JOEL PATTERSON

COACH: RIP TAYLOR

Both of these sides have a lot to prove this week after suffering disappointing losses in their round 1 matches. The Panthers NSW Cup side went down 24-10 to the Knights thanks to some poor defence and a lot of mistakes with the ball, while the Roos were smashed by North Sydney 34-6 at their home ground.

Both games played out in eerily similar situations – Penrith and the Roos had good first halves but lost all momentum in the second 40 minutes, and let their opponents run rings around them. It will be very interesting to see which team learns from their mistakes and changes up the game plan for this weekend.

The Panthers will field a strong team which is a mix of NRL experienced players, and a few young guns moving up the ranks from Under 20’s. Coach Garth Brennan has made a few changes, switching wingers Kevin Naiqama and Eddie Aiono to opposite sides, he’s moved Will Smith to the centres to replace Isaah Yeo who will play first grade again this week, and he’s brought 2013 Under 20’s Captain Daniel Foster into the halves.

It’s hoped with a little bit of tweaking and a few trials of different partnerships, this side will slowly settle and get comfortable, and the game plans will start flowing.

On the other side of the park, Wyong’s defence out wide let them down last week and they’ll no doubt be strengthening that this week. The right side in particular was where they gave away a lot of points. They made a lot of errors with field position and player marking and they suffered heavily for it.

If Penrith can get on the front foot early and take control of the match, it will be hard to break them down. The team has enough skill and knowledge to play some very classy rugby league, but they have to work together as a team and trust skipper Nathan Smith to guide them in the right direction.

We’re keen to see what speedster Will Smith can produce this week, and it will be interesting to see how Foster and Isaac John go in the halves together!