NRL

Panthers v Cowboys
Monday, April 6
Pepper Stadium, Penrith
Kickoff: 7pm

The Panthers return to Pepper Stadium on Easter Monday after two weeks on the road, and they will be very keen to get back into the winners circle after back to back losses.

Ivan Cleary has made a few changes to the side ahead of the game with James Segeyaro back in the starting line-up following lip surgery and big hitter Nigel Plum makes his return to the side after off-season ankle surgery. Jeremy Latimore will start for Brent Kite who suffered a shoulder injury last week, and Isaah Yeo comes into the second row for Lewis Brown who has been sidelined for two weeks with a fractured rib cartilage.

Last week’s game against Newcastle was a tough day out for the boys. The Penrith side struggled to gain momentum against a red hot Knights side that has surprised the competition with their form so far this season. This week’s challenge against North Queensland will be just as tough.

The Cowboys come into the game off the back of a nail-biting extra-time field goal win over the Storm – their first victory of the year – and as expected, Johnathan Thurston starred for them. He will be the focus for the Panthers on Monday.

Penrith won their only encounter with the Cowboys last season, thanks to a Matt Moylan field goal at the death. We’ll be hoping the game doesn’t come down to the wire again this year, and that the Panthers will be able to put points on the board early to get ahead.

PENRITH PANTHERS | Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, Jamal Idris, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Isaac John, Peter Wallace, Sam Mckendry, James Segeyaro, Jeremy Latimore, Sika Manu, Isaah Yeo, Elijah Taylor, Tyrone Peachey, Nigel Plum, Raegan Campbell-Gillard, Bryce Cartwright, Api Koroisau.

NSW Cup

Panthers v Tigers
Saturday, April 4
Pepper Stadium, Penrith
Kickoff: 3pm

Our NSW Cup boys are ready to put last week’s narrow loss to the Knights behind them on Saturday when they do battle with the Tigers at Pepper Stadium.

A devastating last minute penalty goal handed the Knights the 2 points last week after a brave 16 point come-back by Penrith. Coach Garth Brennan would have been impressed with the spirit and courage shown by his team to level the score following a slow start from the kick-off.

He’s done a bit of re-shuffling this week to play at home. George Jennings has been named on the wing after returning from a knee problem, David Simmons will play on the other wing after an impressive performance last week, young Under 20’s star Sione Katoa will line up at hooker again, James Fisher-Harris joins the second row and and Matt Eisenhuth has been included on the interchange bench.

Last weekend’s game was plagued by errors and silly mistakes, but the Panthers’ ability to fight back has set the platform for a much improved display against the Tigers. Wests were also on the rough end of a narrow score line against Mounties in their last match, so Penrith will have to pick themselves up again to outclass the away side.

Will Smith and Sam Scarlett showed positive signs in the second half and they’re starting to form a stronger combination the more they play together. Their link up play with George Jennings and David Simmons will be the key to securing the 2 points. Both wingers have proven to be lethal finishers at NRL level and this is an exciting opportunity for the Panthers to explore on the weekend.  

PENRITH PANTHERS | Waqa Blake, George Jennings, Nu’u Akeripa, Robert Jennings, David Simmons, Will Smith, Sam Scarlett, Sam Anderson, Sione Katoa, Leilani Latu, Tupou Sopoaga, James Fisher-Harris, Brendan Attwood, Andy Saunders, Rodney Coates, Matt Eisenhuth, Chris Smith.

NYC

Panthers v Cowboys
Monday, April 6
Pepper Stadium, Penrith
Kickoff: 4.45pm

Following a disappointing loss to the Knights, our youngsters are keen to improve their focus and discipline and get the 2 points against the Cowboys this week.

Coach Cameron Ciraldo has made a few changes in the wake of last week’s loss with Soni Luke returning to the halves, Stanton Albert and Moses Leota will take their place in the front row and Maliko Filino starts at hooker. Corey Harawira-Naera slots into the second row, Tyrone May will move in to lock the scrum and Josh Grant has been added to the interchange bench.

Last week it was clear that a big shake up was needed to bring fresh energy to the Panthers squad. The backline is relatively unchanged, but the forward ranks have been changed after our defence was exploited repeatedly on the road.

Tyrone May’s switch to lock could prove to be a vital one in the Panthers revival with his ability as a playmaker being a massive attacking weapon against the Cowboys. That, in combination with the creativity of Soni Luke and Dylan Edwards is an exciting opportunity for our boys at home.

Penrith can’t get carried away though. The Cowboys were explosive in their game last week defeating the Storm 50-6. As much as our boys love to run the football, they will need to show Ciraldo that they know how to defend as a unit and their first test could not be any tougher.

PENRITH PANTHERS | Brent Naden, Braidon Burns, Christian Crichton, Jack Nelson, Joshua Jay, Dylan Edwards, Soni Luke, Stanton Albert, Maliko Filino, Moses Leota, Kade Ellis, Corey Harawira-Naera, Tyrone May, Oliver Clark, Paea Pua, Thompson Tuigamala, Josh Grant.