Holden Cup Qualifying Final Preview: Penrith Panthers v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Minor premiers Penrith take on the Sharks for the right to earn a week off and a spot in the preliminary finals.
The Panthers won the first meeting of the year 24-14, but the Sharks rebounded to snap Penrith's 13-game winning streak with a 34-all draw in Round 18.
Watch out Panthers: While the Sharks have the potential to hurt teams out wide, their strength lies in their ability to wreak havoc in the middle third of the field. And no matter where they choose to attack, everything starts with hooker Jayden Brailey, who was this week named on the bench in the Holden Cup Team of the Year. The Cronulla No.9 has an incredible combination with his middle forwards with the majority of his competition-leading 31 try assists sending his big men over the line. He also finished the year as the Holden Cup's leading tackler with 921. Look out for him in the NRL in 2017.
Watch out Sharks: Despite first-choice halves Nathan Cleary (NRL) and Jarome Luai (suspended) being unavailable for the rest of the season, the Panthers are not a team to be taken lightly. Expect fullback Dylan Edwards to have a huge outing this weekend in what will be his fifth game back from a stint in the ISP. In just 14 matches this season, Edwards topped the yardage count (2,650 metres) for Penrith, scored 11 tries, had 12 assists and had an incredible 110 tackle breaks.
Televised: Fox Sports 1 – Live coverage from 1.15pm.
The way we see it: Panthers by 10.
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