Round 5, 2014 NYC
Saturday 5th April
Venue: Sportingbet Stadium, Penrith
Ref: Lawrence McDonnell
PANTHERS: 1.Logan GEYER, 2.Joshua JAY, 3.Brent NADEN, 4.Waqa BLAKE, 5.Eddie AIONO, 6.Jarrod BRACKENHOFER, 7.Sam SCARLETT, 8.Andy SAUNDERS, 9.Sione KATOA, 10.Myles TAUELI, 11.Atonio PELESASA, 12.Bryce CARTWRIGHT, 13.Brendan ATTWOOD
INTERCHANGE: 14. Corey HARAWIRA, 15. Jordan HALL, 16. Wellington ALBERT, 17. Josh GRANT, 19. Moses LEOTA
RAIDERS: 1. Ricky GARARD, 2. Trae CLARKE, 3. Brenko LEE, 4. Jack CREITH, 5. Lachlan HURST, 6. Matthew FRAWLEY, 7. Andrew HEFFERNAN, 8. Mitchell SHAW, 9. Trent SCHUBACH, 10. Mitchell BARNETT, 11. Patrick MAGO (C), 12. Tevita PANGAI JUNIOR, 13. Luke BATEMAN (C)
INTERCHANGE: 14. Scott DOYLE, 15. Jared MCILLWRICK, 16. Brett SOLOMON, 17. Kilu PANGAI, 18. Dylan MCGRATH, 19. Jules WEBLEY
With each week that passes, Penrith’s youngsters are edging closer and closer to their first win of the season. Despite the disappointing start of 4 losses in 4 games, Trent Barrett’s boys are keeping their heads up and are working hard to improve, and hopefully this Saturday will deliver them the result they’ve been looking for.
The Eels gave us a fairly rough touch up last weekend and capitalised on our very poor start, scoring three unanswered tries in the first 15 minutes of the match. We did attempt a comeback at one point but it was short-lived, and we eventually let the home side run away with the points.
While Canberra has won their last two games and are looking very confident. Despite being behind on points at half time in all four of their matches so far this year, they’ve managed to claw their way back to victory in the second half, which is something the Panthers struggle to do.
History shows the young Raiders don’t have the best record at the foot of the mountains, and they let in some very soft tries last week thanks to some poor defence, which is something Penrith will want to take advantage of.
Defence has been an issue for the Panthers too, with opposing teams outsmarting and outmuscling our boys on many occasions. Coach Barrett has been focusing on tackling and backline formation at training this week, making sure players stay on their marks and don’t leave too many open spaces. If these improvements are put into action and our forward pack is left to focus on attack, we should get a few tries.
We will have to improve our second half performance if we’re to have any chance of holding the Raiders out. In recent weeks, mistakes and careless plays in the second 40 minutes have cost us points and often the game.
Canberra has made just one change for tomorrow, bringing Trae Clarke onto the wing to replace Rourke O’Sullivan. Forward Tevita Pangai will be one to watch for the Panthers after he wreaked havoc on the Rabbitohs defence last week. Jack Creith is a crafty one who creates open space for his wingers, while Andrew Heffernan is looking very comfortable in his new role as halfback. The Raiders also have a very strong bench to call upon.
Penrith will have a similar team to last week with a few position changes for a couple of players. Eddie Aiono returns to the wing with Waqa Blake inside him in the centres, while Sione Katoa moves from the bench into the starting line-up at hooker. Big Wellington Albert has also been named on the bench.