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The ladder-leading Panthers have the chance to equal their club record of eight straight wins when they host the Raiders on Saturday night.

Penrith dismantled Manly last round to keep themselves one point ahead of the Eels and Storm in the minor premiership race.

Canberra, boosted by the returns of John Bateman and Curtis Scott, made it three on the trot by beating the Cowboys.

Coach Ricky Stuart conceded his fifth-placed team were lucky to win. They'll need to step it up a notch as they hunt for a top four position.

The Rundown

Team news

Panthers: A late change for the Panthers with winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak dropping out. Brent Naden shifts from centre to wing and Tyrone May moves from the bench to the centres. Development player Daine Laurie will make his NRL debut off the bench.

Mitch Kenny and Matt Burton were cut from the reserves 24 hours before kick-off. Billy Burns was omitted an hour before kick-off.

Penrith are aiming to equal their 2003 club record of eight consecutive wins.

Raiders: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been confirmed to return from a dislocated finger at fullback, with Jordan Rapana shifting to the wing and the injured Semi Valemei dropping out.

Veteran Michael Oldfield has overcome a hamstring injury and has been included on an extended bench, giving coach Ricky Stuart some much-needed outside back cover. Canberra has scored at least 30 points in their past three games against the Panthers.

Kai O'Donnell and Matt Frawley were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. Sam Williams and Michael Oldfield were cut an hour before game time.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Caleb Aekins
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Josh Mansour
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Jordan Rapana
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Panthers is number 14 Tyrone May
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis Scott
  • Winger for Panthers is number 3 Brent Naden
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Nick Cotric
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 James Tamou
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Siliva Havili
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis Lui
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 John Bateman
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Hudson Young

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses Leota
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Joseph Tapine
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Zane Tetevano
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Ryan Sutton
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 21 Daine Laurie
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera

Key match-up

Viliame Kikau v John Bateman. These star second-rowers had an enthralling battle when they faced off in Wagga last season. Bateman suffered a broken eye-socket that game in a head clash with Kikau.

Billy Kiks has been a huge part of Penrith's success this season while Bateman showed his class on the right edge when he returned from a shoulder injury last week.

Stat Attack

The Panthers boast the best completion rate in the competition (83 per cent) and have spent the most time in possession of anyone this season (55 per cent). Canberra (78 per cent completion rate, 50 per cent possession) have sometimes made things hard for themselves.