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Roosters v Panthers; Tupou ready to wing it; Cogger in for Cleary

The Panthers find themselves in familiar territory on top of the NRL ladder but the loss of superstar Nathan Cleary to a hamstring injury is set to test their depth and resolve for the next month.

The club confirmed on Monday that Cleary was facing up to six weeks on the sideline after injuring his hamstring against the Dragons, and with several other stars involved in State of Origin, life is about to get a whole lot tougher for the defending champs.

The Panthers face the Roosters, Cowboys, Knights and Storm before a bye in Round 19 and will look to the likes of Jack Cogger and Jaeman Salmon to step up in Cleary's absence. 

The Roosters also have their challenges through the Origin period but for this weekend's clash they have Blues skipper James Tedesco and Maroons prop Lindsay Collins on deck to try and build some momentum heading into the second half of the season.

It is only four weeks since these two sides last met, the Panthers running amok in a 48-4 smashing at BlueBet Stadium to register their seventh win in games against the Roosters.

With Tedesco back to his brilliant best against the Bulldogs and Luke Keary showing some nice touches in the halves, the Roosters will fancy their chances of springing an upset on home soil.

Sportsbet Betting Preview - Roosters v Panthers

Team News

Roosters: Drew Hutchison comes into the centres in place of Billy Smith an hour before kick-off and Zach Dockar-Clay the new 18th Man. Joseph Suaalii's three-game ban for Dangerous Contact sees Corey Allan shift to the centres with Daniel Tupou returning from a hamstring injury on the wing. Tupou, who needs four tries to become the club's greatest ever tryscorer, has not played since Round 7. Last week's debutant Sandon Smith retains his place on the bench.

Panthers: A late change with Zac Hosking being rested, Liam Martin joining the starting side and Soni Luke added to the bench in jersey No.22. Jack Cogger takes the reins at halfback following Nathan Cleary's hamstring injury. Jaeman Salmon joins the interchange bench.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Sunia Turuva
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Corey Allan
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
  • Centre for Roosters is number 18 Drew Hutchison
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Fetalaiga Pauga
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Joseph Manu
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Jack Cogger


  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Egan Butcher
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Scott Sorensen
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 14 Liam Martin
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Sitili Tupouniua
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo


  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Sandon Smith
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Lindsay Smith
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Nathan Brown
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Angus Crichton
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Matthew Lodge
    Interchange for Panthers is number 22 Soni Luke


  • Replacement for Roosters is number 19 Zach Dockar-Clay
    Replacement for Panthers is number 19 Luke Garner

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Stat Attack

  • Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards leads the NRL for tackle breaks with 85.
  • The Panthers boast the best defence in the NRL, conceding just 12 points per game, while the Roosters are giving up 22.5 points per game.
  • After 14 rounds last year the Roosters sat eighth with a 7-7 record before going on to finish sixth. They currently sit ninth with a 6-6 record.
  • The Roosters have won five from six at their new Allianz Stadium headquarters.
  • Roosters winger Jaxson Paulo has scored five tries in his past four games at Allianz Stadium.
  • The Panthers have won nine of their past 11 games without Nathan Cleary
  • Roosters fullback James Tedesco has scored four tries in his past two games.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.

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.