Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Pepper Stadium
Friday, 7:50pm

Two sides with two wins and three losses find themselves in eighth and 11th respectively as the Penrith Panthers play host to the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Pepper Stadium on Friday night.

Both outfits are coming off defeats at the hands of the Storm and Cowboys away from home and will be looking to bounce back as quickly as possible. 

The Rabbitohs face their third road trip in successive weeks and have only managed a tight win over the Knights before succumbing to the Cowboys in Townsville, while the Panthers couldn't match it with a red-hot Storm side despite having majority of possession throughout the game.

A mouthwatering battle awaits in the halves with the Nathan Cleary-Te Maire Martin combination taking on Adam Reynolds and the in-form Cody Walker, who has been close to our best in the opening five weeks of the competition. 

Three potential New South Wales candidates are also set to take the field for the battle of the hooking role, with Peter Wallace's name being thrown into calculations for the No.9 Blues jersey in recent weeks. 

Robbie Farah has been named in the 21-man squad despite injuring his back against the Cowboys with George Burgess listed in the reserves after a two-week suspension, alongside former Knight Robbie Rochow.

The Panthers will be without four of their mainstay backline for the clash with skipper Matt Moylan, Waqa Blake and Peta Hiku all demoted to the Intrust Super Premiership for breaking team protocol earlier in the week. Tyrone Peachey will also miss the contest with a fractured rib leaving coach Anthony Griffin to blood debutant Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, the older brother of Dallin, in the backline.

Michael Oldfield and Dylan Edwards fill the remaining vacant spots with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Dean Whare named in the centres.

Souths have conceded the least amount of penalties than any other side in the competition with 22 (4.4 per game) compared to the Panthers who are almost double at 41 (8.2 per game).

Maguire's men also control the ball better than the Panthers, with the home side the worst in the NRL with 62 errors at an average of 12.4 per game.

If we can get off to a good start, they might have too much experience for a Panthers team who have dropped three of their players.

 

NYC

Penrith Panthers v South Sydney Rabbitohs
Pepper Stadium
Friday, 5:35pm

The Bunnies are coming off a heavy loss in Townsville and it will be interesting to see how they back up from the tough conditions up north. The Panthers confirmed their status as one of the teams to beat in 2017 after downing the previously unbeaten Storm on the Sunshine Coast. The Rabbitohs will have to produce something special to take home two points from Pepper Stadium.