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Panthers v Eels: DWZ back early, Matagi edges out Edwards

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was named to start on the wing for the Penrith Panthers despite previous concerns he would miss the start of the season due to injury.

Viliame Kikau has gotten the nod in the back-row following an impressive World Cup campaign with Fiji. His start pushes Corey Harawira-Naera to the bench.

Tyrone Peachey has been named at centre despite some concerns with his defence in the role.

Kenny Edwards has been dropped to the reserves by Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur. Suaia Matagi and Kane Evans are named.

Tepai Moeroa has been named at back-row for the Eels, beating out Brad Takairangi who has been named on the bench.

As expected, Jarryd Hayne has been named in thecentres alongside Michael Jennings. Josh Hoffman will get the nod on the wing with Clinton Gutherson still out injured.

Panthers Stadium, Sunday March 11, 4.10pm

Head-to-head: Played 94, Eels 56 wins, Panther 37 wins, 1 draw.

Last five games: 

  • Round 8, 2017; Parramatta Eels def. Penrith Panthers 18-12.
  • Round 19, 2016; Penrith Panthers def. Parramatta Eels 22-18.
  • Round 5, 2016; Penrith Panthers def. Parramatta Eels 20-18.
  • Round 22, 2015; Parramatta Eels def. Penrith Panthers 10-4. 
  • Round 12, 2015; Parramatta Eels def. Penrith Panthers 26-20. 

2017 points per game: Penrith 21; Parramatta 20.3

2017 points conceded per game: Penrith 18.5; Parramatta 18.8

Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League

Panthers: 1 Dylan Edwards, 2 Josh Mansour, 3 Waqa Blake, 4 Tyrone Peachey, 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 James Maloney, 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 James Tamou, 9 Peter Wallace (c), 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 Trent Merrin

Interchange: 14 Corey Harawira-Naera, 15 Sam McKendry, 16 Moses Leota, 17 James Fisher-Harris

Reserves: 18 Sione Katoa, 19 Tim Browne, 20 Christian Crichton, 21 Jarome Luai

Eels: 1 Bevan French, 2 Josh Hoffman, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Jarryd Hayne, 5 Kirisome Auva'a, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Tim Mannah (c), 11 Manu Ma'u, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange: 14 Beau Scott (c), 15 Brad Takairangi, 16 Suaia Matagi, 17 Kane Evans

Reserves: 18 Will Smith, 19 Kenny Edwards, 20 David Gower, 21 Kaysa Pritchard

Match officials: Main referee: Ashley Klein, Assistant referee: Matt Noyen, Touch judges: Brett Suttor, Nick Beashel.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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