Panthers will host the Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium on Friday night, and despite having six players unavailable due to Origin commitments, they'll be up for the challenge.
A number of Penrith players were rested from NSW Cup duties on Sunday so they'd be fresh for duty if called up to face the Bulldogs, including playmaker Sean O'Sullivan who performed admirably in the first three rounds of the season while Nathan Cleary recovered from shoulder surgery.
The Bulldogs showed plenty of good signs on an emotional day at their spiritual home Belmore but still came up short to remain at the bottom of the table.
When these sides clashed at CommBank Stadium in round five it was the Panthers cruising home 32-12 but without a posse of their big guns they could find the going much tougher this time around.
Panthers v Bulldogs: Round 13
Panthers: Sean O'Sullivan did a fine job steering the ship early in the season and he'll take charge again in the No.7 with Kurt Falls set to make his NRL debut at five-eighth with Jarome Luai also on Origin duty. Robert Jennings and Charlie Staines join the backline for Stephen Crichton and Brian To'o while Chris Smith and Matt Eisenhuth come in for Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo in the pack. Hooker Api Koroisau was named among the Blues reserves but will be released to play for Penrith in a big boost for Ivan Cleary. Fullback Dylan Edwards and prop James Fisher-Harris will captain the side.
NRL Teamlist Video: Round 13
Bulldogs: Tevita Pangai jnr remains sidelined after missing the Dragons game due to back spasms. Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been promoted to the starting side and Corey Waddell goes to the bench. Ava Seumanufagai has been recalled on the bench, pushing Joe Stimson to the reserves. Josh Addo-Carr could consider himself unlucky to miss Blues selection but his presence is a bonus for interim coach Mick Potter.
Match: Panthers v Bulldogs
Round 13 -
Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan EdwardsFullback for Bulldogs is number 22 Corey Allan
Winger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan MayWinger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob Kiraz
Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack TagoCentre for Bulldogs is number 3 Aaron Schoupp
Centre for Panthers is number 4 Robert JenningsCentre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake Averillo
Winger for Panthers is number 5 Charlie StainesWinger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Kurt FallsFive-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Sean O'SullivanHalfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses LeotaProp for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai KoroisauHooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-HarrisProp for Bulldogs is number 17 Ava Seumanufagai
2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Chris Smith2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Lock for Panthers is number 13 Matthew EisenhuthLock for Bulldogs is number 13 Max King
Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch KennyInterchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Zach Dockar-Clay
Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott SorensenInterchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey Waddell
Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer LeniuInterchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Chris Patolo
Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman SalmonInterchange for Bulldogs is number 21 Joe Stimson
Replacement for Panthers is number 21 Sunia TuruvaReplacement for Bulldogs is number 25 Kurtis Morrin
- Referee: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
James Fisher-Harris v Luke Thompson: A proud Kiwi and a proud Englishman square off in a battle that will shake the foundations of BlueBet Stadium. While the Panthers' backs take the plaudits for their flashy finishing, it's Fisher-Harris who lays the platform with his fearsome charges that have yielded 142 metres per game in 2022. Thompson is coming off his most productive game of the season in terms of running metres (135) and continues to get through a power of work in defence as well (35 tackles per game). Both men will be up for the contest and both love to get down in the trenches.
In the past four meetings between these clubs the Panthers have piled on 24 tries to the Bulldogs' three. The scoreline across the four matches was 132-16 to the Panthers.