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The is arguably the match of the round as it brings the runners-up from the past two grand finals together to determine who is the better-looking premiership material at this early stage.

The Panthers proved stronger by a whisker over the Storm two weeks ago and Ivan Cleary's side can again count on the Penrith faithful at BlueBet Stadium when the Raiders visit.

The competitor inside Ricky Stuart would love to orchestrate the Panthers' first loss of the season. But to do that he will need another strong defensive effort like his Raiders produced against the Titans on the back of 47 per cent possession.

They denied two Titans tries near the corner posts through desperation defence.

Panthers v Raiders

The rundown

Team news

Panthers: The Panthers will line up 1-17 as named. Unsurprisingly, coach Ivan Cleary stuck with the same 17 that proved far too good for Manly. 

Robert Jennings and J'maine Hopgood were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. Scott Sorensen was the last man cut an hour before game time and Jaeman Salmon is the 18th man.

The Panthers are aiming for a 5-0 start to the season for the first time in the club’s history.

Raiders: Ryan James and Iosia Soliola have been brought into the starting team an hour before kick-off with Ryan Sutton and Joseph Tapine reverting to the bench.

Tapine is returning from an ankle injury and was named to start on Tuesday but will be kept out of the early exchanges.

Semi Valemei and Dunamis Lui were cut 24 hours prior to kick-off. Sam Williams was cut an hour before kick-off and Corey Harawira-Naera is the 18th man.

Winger Jordan Rapana has scored 10 tries in 11 games against the Panthers.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Stephen Crichton
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey Simonsson
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Paul Momirovski
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Matt Burton
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
  • 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 Moses Leota
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Raiders is number 16 Iosia Soliola
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Raiders is number 17 Ryan James

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Tyrone May
    Interchange for Raiders is number 10 Ryan Sutton
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Liam Martin
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Siliva Havili

Reserves

  • Reserve for Panthers is number 21 Jaeman Salmon
    Reserve for Raiders is number 21 Corey Harawira-Naera

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

The kicking games of Nathan Cleary and George Williams - especially in setting up tries for their outside men - will be crucial. The vision of these two in setting up attacking situations has them level at three try-assists each as they try to outwit each other here with boot and pass.

Stat Attack

Cleary and Jerome Luai have a combined eight forced line drop-outs so far, which is a lot more than Williams and Jack Wighton's total of three. 

 

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