Panthers NSW Cup v Warriors
Sunday, June 30
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Kickoff: 11.45am (NZ). 9.45am (AEST)
PANTHERS: 1.Will SMITH, 2.Eto NABULI, 3.Waqa BLAKE, 4.Jamal IDRIS, 5.Wes NAIQAMA, 6.Tom HUMBLE, 7.Luke CAPEWELL, 8.Sam ANDERSON, 9.Kevin KINGSTON, 10.Tim GRANT, 11.Matt ROBINSON, 12.Ben MURDOCH-MASILA, 13.Ryan SIMPKINS
INTERCHANGE: 14. Vaipuna TIA KILIFI, 15. Tom EISENHUTH, 16. Reagan CAMPBELL-GILLARD, 17. Anthony CHERRINGTON, 18. Liam AYOUB
WARRIORS: 1 Tuimoala LOLOHEA, 2 Ngataua HUKATAI, 3 Solomone KATA, 4 Dominique PEYROUX, 5 Jarrod TUA, 6 Carlos TUIMAVAVE, 7 Steve WAETFORD, 8 Upu POCHING, 9 Siliva HAVILI, 10 Agnatius PAASI, 11 Michael KI, 12 Raymond FAITALA-MARINER, 13 John PALAVI
Interchange: 14 Michael SIO, 15 Albert VETE, 16 Sam LOUSI, 17 David BHANA
The Panthers are preparing to face one of their toughest opponents this season, with Sunday’s clash against the Warriors promising to be a top-notch grudge match.
Garth Brennan’s boys have won 12 of their last 13 games and are still at the top of the NSW Cup ladder, but many of those victories have been pretty ugly and were far from their best work. The Warriors dropped out of the top four last weekend after a disappointing loss to Wyong, so they’ll be fired up and ready to make amends on Sunday.
They’ll be without Dane Nielson who has earned a call up to first grade for the suspended Ngani Laumape, which sees Solomone Kata move into the centres and Jarrod Tua take his place on the wing. Also back in the side is forward John Palavi who was 18th man in last week’s NRL win over the Broncos.
For the Panthers, Jamal Idris has been named in the centres after making a successful return to rugby league last weekend against the Bears. Kieran Moss is out injured so Will Smith will shift to fullback, Tom Humble will move to five-eighth and Luke Capewell returns to the halfback position.
On paper, Penrith has the stronger team with plenty of first grade and representative experience, but this Kiwi side boasts a lot of fire power and some very heavy hitters, and they’ll be throwing everything but the kitchen sink at our boys.
Brennan will be keen to see his side improve on discipline this Sunday, and he’ll want them to stay focused for the full 80 minutes instead of getting complacent in the final 20 minutes of the match, which has happened in the last few games.