PENRITH PANTHERS VS MELBOURNE STORM
SATURDAY 6TH JUNE
Penrith Panthers host the Melbourne Storm at Pepper Stadium on Saturday night. In the aftermath of the tough loss to the Eels last weekend, the Panthers are eager to bounce back against the star-studded Storm.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has been forced to make a few changes to his line-up for the clash.
The backline has undergone another re-shuffle with Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour and Robert Jennings all missing out with their respective injuries.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been given the opportunity to show his skills at fullback, Waqa Blake has been named on the wing and Isaah Yeo starts in the centres. Tyrone Peachey returns from suspension to take his place on the bench
Against the Eels nothing went to plan for Penrith. It was a horror opening half that saw the Panthers down 12 points in the opening ten minutes, compounded by losing Moylan to his devastating ankle injury.
The tenacious fightback in the second half showed the spirit within the team but the challenge proved too much in the end.
KEY MATCH UPS
The battle of the fullbacks is an intriguing one with Penrith young gun Dallin Watene-Zelezniak going head-to-head with the sneaky speedster Billy Slater. DWZ has proven himself as a lethal finisher over the past 12 months but this weekend he gets a chance to show his full range of skills. With Moylan out for at least 10 weeks, the Panthers are desperately hoping DWZ can get the job done. As for Slater, his supreme talents need no introduction and his reputation as the competition’s leading fullback lives on.
James Segeyaro has been a consistent performer for the Panthers despite the constant changes to the team around him. He provides spark in attack and aggression in defence. However his opposite number, wily veteran Cameron Smith, symbolises what any number nine wants to achieve in the game. Chicko will have to be at the top of his game if he is to outshine the Kangaroos and Maroons captain.
PENRITH PANTHERS | Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Waqa Blake, Dean Whare, Isaah Yeo, David Simmons, Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, James Segeyaro, Sam Mckendry, Lewis Brown, Sika Manu, Elijah Taylor, Bryce Cartwright, Jeremy Latimore, Tyrone Peachey, Nigel Plum, Adam Docker.