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Panthers prop James Tamou takes a hit-up against Wests Tigers in Round 2 of the Telstra Premiership.

Penrith Panthers front-rower James Tamou admits it is hard to find a weakness in the Sydney Roosters side that will take to the field for their Round 3 clash at Pepper Stadium on Saturday night. 

The Australian international will play in his first home game for the Panthers, and said former New South Wales teammate Mitchell Pearce is the key to the Tricolours' success early on in the season. 

Both Pearce and Luke Keary have combined well for the Roosters to start 2017 and now face the most inexperienced halves pairing in the game in Te Maire Martin and Nathan Cleary. 

The rookie duo clicked into gear against the Wests Tigers, but will now face an even tougher test against the more dominant Roosters outfit that boasts representative players across the park including Kiwi international Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and State of Origin back-rowers Aiden Guerra and Boyd Cordner.

"They haven't got a weakness on the field and it's no surprise they're 2-0 to start so we are going to have our hands full," Tamou told 

"They've got Jared [Waerea-Hargreaves] there and [Dylan] Napa in the forwards as well so they've got a good side and they'll look to go straight through the middle."

‌Tamou was confident Martin and Cleary could match the efforts of Pearce on Saturday night.

"He's (Pearce) coming out with something to prove watching the first couple of games and that's scary for opposing teams.

"It will be a big test [for our halves] but those boys will be up for it.

"They're obviously still young but these type of games and exposure to experience will do them well.

"There's still a lot of things we have to work on and we'll be tested again but we will do our homework for that."

Playing alongside new teammates at club level for the first time in eight years is still all new for Tamou, who continues to adjust to the style of play the Panthers produce under Anthony Griffin – an obvious contrast to his days in North Queensland. 

"It is different to my time at the Cowboys in that here at Penrith it's an off-the-cuff game and we play what's in front us which is exciting," he said. 

"At the Cowboys it was very structured, so I've gone from one extreme to the other, which is good and I don't mind it whatsoever.

"I still have to adapt to some of the plays and calls but the feeling coming off the Tigers win was very pleasing.

"It was relieving and apart from the scoreboard it was a tough game and we knew it would be at Campbelltown with their crowd.

"Our attitude had to quickly change and they taught us a lesson so we knew we had to turn it around quickly against the Tigers.

"In saying that, we've still got a lot of work to do to mix it up with the big teams and the Roosters are a side that will come out firing, so it's important for us convert the win against the Tigers into another consistent performance and this time in front of our fans."

The Panthers have confirmed two late changes prior to their clash with the Roosters with back-rower Bryce Cartwright ruled out with ankle bruising and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak confirmed to replace rookie Dylan Edwards on the wing after a successful return from minor knee surgery. 

Fellow Kiwi international James Fisher-Harris will come into the starting line-up at the expense of Cartwright.


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