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Panthers v Eels: Edwards, Turuva out; Lane returns

A year ago, the Panthers and Eels squared off in the grand final, but now they sit 10 places apart on the ladder and Parramatta's dreams of a drought-breaking premiership are in tatters.

The Eels' September hopes were snuffed out in Friday night's loss to the Roosters, leaving them in 11th place with an 11-12 record.

The ladder leading Panthers, meanwhile, overcame the absence of Brian To'o, Scott Sorensen and Mitch Kenny to roll past the Titans for their 17th win of the season.

If the premiers can down the Eels on Thursday they will likely secure their third minor premiership in four years, potentially giving coach Ivan Cleary the luxury of being able to rest players from the Round 27 clash with the Cowboys should he choose.

The Eels have the bye in the last round so this week's western Sydney derby is their final chance to restore some lost pride and give their loyal fans some joy at the end of a tough season.

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Team News 

Panthers: Dylan Edwards and Sunia Turuva have come out of the side on Wednesday and will be rested so Jesse McLean comes in at fullback for his NRL debut and Tom Jenkins keeps his place on the wing. Brian To'o is back after being rested but hooker Mitch Kenny and forward Scott Sorensen remain sidelined so Jack Cogger holds the No.9 jersey and Zac Hosking lines up again in the back row. Still no sign of centre Izack Tago (leg). There were no further changes when the sides were finalised 60 minutes before kick-off.

Eels: Shaun Lane is back from an elbow injury for Parramatta's final game of the regular season. Lane will start off the bench alongside Junior Paulo and J'maine Hopgood, who moved from the starting side when the side was finalised 60 minutes before kick-off. Wiremu Greig will start in the front-row, while Joe Ofahengaue is lock. Brendan Hands is 18th man.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 20 Jesse McLean
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Tyrone Peachey
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Bailey Simonsson
  • Winger for Panthers is number 21 Tom Jenkins
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Sean Russell
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Daejarn Asi
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Dylan Brown

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Jack Cogger
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Joey Lussick
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Eels is number 16 Wiremu Greig
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Zac Hosking
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Ryan Matterson
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Bryce Cartwright
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Eels is number 17 Joe Ofahengaue

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Soni Luke
    Interchange for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Lindsay Smith
    Interchange for Eels is number 13 J'maine Hopgood
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Luca Moretti
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Luke Garner
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Shaun Lane

Reserves

  • Replacement for Panthers is number 18 Jaeman Salmon
    Replacement for Eels is number 19 Brendan Hands

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Stat Attack

  • The Panthers' tally of 921 tackle breaks is second highest for the season behind the Knights (934).
  • The Panthers have won 33 of 36 games at BlueBet Stadium since 2020.
  • The Eels have won three of their past five games against the Panthers.
  • Panthers winger Brian To’o has scored 14 tries from his past 10 games at BlueBet Stadium.
    • The Eels have conceded an average of 35 points in their past seven games.
  • Panthers second-rower Liam Martin will make his 100th NRL appearance.
  • Eels winger Maika Sivo has scored 29 tries in his past 35 games.
  • Panthers Dylan Edwards and Sunia Turuva ran for a combined 672 metres when these two sides met in Round 4.

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.