You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Match Preview: Panthers v Raiders

Panthers will travel to the nation's capital to face the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night. 

The Raiders' run of good form has them sitting in ninth spot and only outside the eight on points differential as they gear up for the ultimate test against the premiers.

The loss of star playmakers Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai leaves a huge hole for Penrith and Ricky Stuart's men get a golden opportunity to knock off the tallest poppy and announce themselves as genuine contenders.

There's plenty like about the way the Raiders are playing their footy at the moment but they will be aware they need to go up another couple of notches to beat a side that has only two games all season.

A loud and passionate GIO Stadium crowd is asssured on a Saturday evening in the national capital and they can be worth a few points to the Green Machine when the heat is applied by the champs.

Koroisau and Kikau praise milestone man Edwards

The Rundown

Team news

Panthers: Sean O'Sullivan moves from five-eighth to halfback to cover for Nathan Cleary, who was suspended for five games for a dangerous tackle. Jaeman Salmon comes into the starting side at five-eighth. Origin centre Stephen Crichton returns from the nasty ear cut he suffered against the Sharks and back-up hooker Mitch Kenny (knee) is also back on deck.

NRL Teamlist Video: Round 21

Raiders: The return of Jordan Rapana from suspension sees Albert Hopoate drop to 18th Man. Adam Elliott hurt his hip against the Titans but has been named to play.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Raiders is number 18 Albert Hopoate
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jaeman Salmon
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
  • Prop for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 20 Chris Smith
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Adam Elliott
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
    Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Ryan Sutton
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Emre Guler
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera
    Interchange for Panthers is number 18 Sunia Turuva

Reserves

  • Replacement for Raiders is number 19 Ata Mariota
    Replacement for Panthers is number 19 Matthew Eisenhuth

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Key match-up

James Fisher-Harris v Joseph Tapine: When conversation starts about who is the game's premier prop, these two powerhouse Kiwis are right in the thick of the debate. Tapine has been enormous for Canberra, averaging 165 metres per game, breaking 62 tackles and and creating second-phase opportunities with 37 offloads. Fisher-Harris is the main man in Ivan Cleary's pack, averaging 144 metres and 30 tackles per match and invariably coming up with an team-lifting play when it is needed.

Stat Attack

The Panthers lead the NRL in kick return metres with 4123, fullback Dylan Edwards responsible for 1821 of those with his dynamic kick returning ability. The Raiders are eighth for kick return metres with 2958.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.