Sharks five-eighth Matt Moylan.

Penrith out to spoil Matt Moylan's homecoming

Stand-in Penrith captain Isaah Yeo expects a fired-up Matt Moylan when the former skipper returns to Panthers Stadium in Cronulla colours on Friday night.

The clash will mark Moylan's first return home to Penrith after departing the club in the off-season amid reports of a falling out between he and coach Anthony Griffin.

Already with a bragging-rights advantage after guiding the Sharks to a 26-22 victory over his former side in round seven, Moylan has settled into his new surroundings after a slow start to the year.

"If Matty does get a frosty reception from the crowd he doesn't deserve it," Yeo told NRL.com.

"He didn't finish here on his terms, he had injuries and off-field stuff going on.

"But I think it was better for him that he got a fresh start and has done that well over at Cronulla, particularly over the past couple of months I think he's been exceptional."

Yeo said he felt Moylan go the extra mile when the two sides last met in the Shire, and with both clubs within reach of a top-four finish, the stakes have only risen since their last meeting.

Moylan has had 13 try assists and 14 line-break assists for Cronulla, who sit two points behind Penrith on the ladder.

James Maloney and Matt Moylan after the Panthers-Sharks match in round 7.
James Maloney and Matt Moylan after the Panthers-Sharks match in round 7. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"I'm sure Matt will be out to have a really good game back to where it all started for him," Yeo said.

"If they're winning the forward battle and he's playing off the back of that, it's where he has his best performances. We need to keep his quality touches to a minimum.

"He'll do something freaky that he manages to do most games, we'll work around that. Hopefully we'll take his decision-making time from him."

Rookie five-eighth Tyrone May, who replaced Moylan in the Panthers line-up at various stages last season through injury, added his former teammate had not got any players at the club off side with his departure.

"I hope it's a good return for him, just not on the scoreboard. I don't think there is any saltiness from any of our players or the staff," May said.

"We're all still mates with him. I hope he gets a round of applause instead of boos.

"He's done some outstanding things for the club, is a Penrith junior and should get the reception he deserves."

Meanwhile, Panthers centre Dean Whare filled in for the injured Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (hamstring) at fullback on Monday.

Whare is likely to start at fullback with Tyrone Peachey moving into the centres provided the utility gets through Origin III unscathed.

May and Jarome Luai filled in as halves again at training and could play the Sharks with NSW pairing James Maloney and Nathan Cleary in line to be rested.