The Penrith Panthers NSW Cup side return to action on Saturday against Manly at Brookvale Oval. Backing up from a narrow loss to Norths, the team is eager to get back into the winner’s circle.
Coach Garth Brennan welcomes back some big names to his line-up this week as he looks to build pressure on Mounties at the top of the table. Nathan Smith returns to captain the side from injury, Robert Jennings steps up from the Holden Cup team and Adrian Davis claims the fullback jersey.
The Origin break came at a perfect time for Penrith. Missing out on the two points against Norths, despite a courageous comeback in the second half, gave the team plenty to ponder. Blessed with two weeks to rectify their errors, Brennan is sure to have the Panthers switched on from kick-off this weekend.
The key point this week is the strength of the attacking spine. Fullback Adrian Davis has shown that he knows how to find space, halves Will Smith and Isaac John have the advantage of experience in first grade, and hooker Brendan Attwood has been outstanding in numerous positions this season.
The last time the two sides met was in round six at Pepper Stadium. The Panthers ran away with the game in the second half while Manly fought hard in a thrilling contest. The Sea Eagles have not enjoyed the best start to the season but that counts for nothing if the Panthers let complacency creep into their game at Brookvale Oval.
PENRITH PANTHERS | Adrian Davis, Eddie Aiono, Robert Jennings, Chris Smith, Tom Eisenhuth, Will Smith, Isaac John, Sam Anderson, Brendan Attwood, Leilani Latu, Nathan Smith ©, Tupou Sopoaga, Adam Docker
INTERCHANGE | Rodney Coates, Matt Eisenhuth, Andy Saunders, Sam Scarlett, Wellington Albert.