PANTHERS: 1.Logan Geyer, 2.Joshua Jay, 3.Brent Naden, 4.Waqa Blake, 5.Eddie Aiono, 6.Corey Harawira, 7.Sam Scarlett, 8.Andy Saunders, 9.Josh Tangitau, 10.Atonio Pelesasa, 11.Sione Katoa, 12.Brendan Attwood, 13.Dave Cowhan
INTERCHANGE: 14. Josh Grant, 15. Matt Lupi, 16. Jordan Hall, 17. Jahnayah Freeman, 18. Solofa Silipa
KNIGHTS: 1. Jacob Gagai, 2. Bryce Donovan, 3. Sione Mata'utia, 4. Chance Peni, 5. Josh Birch, 6. Sam Keenan, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Tuiala Togiatasi, 9. Danny Levi (c), 10. Luke Yates, 11. Joseph Tapine, 12. Harry Pondekas, 13. Pride Petterson-Robati
Interchange: 14. James De Saxe, 15. Bradie Smith, 16. Joseph Boyce, 17. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 18. Josh King
This is going to be a tough one for the young Panthers, as they’re facing an undefeated Newcastle side whose only blemish on a perfect 2014 season was a draw against the Bulldogs. But nothing is impossible and an upset is just what we need to keep Trent Barrett’s four-game winning streak alive!
The Knights had a couple of players in rep teams last weekend with Jake Mamo, halfback Jaelen Feeney and centre Sione Mata-utia all starring for New South Wales. Feeney and Mata’utia have been named this weekend, and Mamo could also be a late inclusion, with coaches planning to monitor him right up until game time.
There’s been a couple of changes to the Penrith side, especially in the second row, while Dave Cowhan has been brought in from the Windsor Wolves side to take over Lock.
The last time these two sides met, Newcastle trumped the Panthers 34-22 at Sportingbet Stadium despite trailing 18-0 after 10 minutes. The Penrith team has evolved into a completely different side since then though, with four wins under their belt, and that could be the key to making it 1-1.
This Newcastle side has hit the ground running in almost every game they’ve played this year and that’s been the key to their success. They take control of the match early and never let the opposition catch up.
Panthers centre Brent Naden and winger Josh Jay were outstanding in our round 8 clash against the Sharks, chalking up 255m between them, and we’ll need repeat performances from them if we’re to get anywhere near our line on Sunday.
The Knights have a very strong forward pack that drives up through the centre of the field and then sends the ball wide for their wingers to score. The Panthers have a similar game plan so it will be a sheer battle of wills in the middle of the park to see who comes out on top!