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Unbeaten competition leaders Penrith face an unexpected challenge as they prepare to host a rejuvenated Sea Eagles side at Carrington Park in Bathurst.

It was just four weeks ago that the Panthers demolished Fortress Brookvale and put the Sea Eagles to the sword in a 46-6 massacre but in the past two rounds the return of fullback Tom Trbojevic has transformed Manly.

Even though Penrith are humming after seven successive wins to start the season they won't be taking number eight for granted.

Halfback and skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was Trbojevic's partner in crime against Wests Tigers, scoring the two tries that kicked off Manly's onslaught and setting up three more. 

Panthers v Sea Eagles

The rundown

Team news

Panthers: Api Koroisau is a certain starter with Mitch Kenny reverting back to the reserves and likely to play NSW Cup on Saturday. Stephen Crichton resumes his latest role on the right edge with Dylan Edwards getting through last week's game at fullback unscathed.

Scott Sorensen dropped out of the reserves an hour before kick-off, while Mitch Kenny is the 18th man. Brent Naden and Robert Jennings were omitted from the 21-man squad 24 hours from kick-off.

The Panthers have won 10 of their past 12 games against the Sea Eagles.

Sea Eagles: Josh Aloiai and Sean Keppie once again moved into the starting team before kick-off, with Martin Taupau and Haumolo Olakauatu to come off the bench.

Zac Saddler dropped out of the reserves on game day, with Tevita Funa the 18th man.

Christian Tuipulotu and Ben Trbojevic were the players to drop off the extended bench on Friday.

The Sea Eagles have won 76 percent of all games with Tom Trbojevic in their line-up since 2019. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom Trbojevic
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Matt Burton
    Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan Harper
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Taniela Paseka
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Sea Eagles is number 15 Josh Aloiai
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Josh Schuster
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
    2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 16 Sean Keppie
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Tyrone May
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Cade Cust
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Liam Martin
    Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Toafofoa Sipley

Reserves

  • Reserve for Panthers is number 19 Mitch Kenny
    Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 19 Tevita Funa

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Dylan Edwards v Tom Trbojevic: Edwards returned from injury to play a leading role in Penrith's win over Newcastle, earning a special mention from coach Ivan Cleary post-match.

His presence at the back gives Penrith much better balance but he will have to lift yet again if he is to match it with Trbojevic. The Sea Eagles fullback has been in devastating form, crossing for two tries while also setting up four and busting nine tackles in his first two outings of 2021.

Stat attack

Penrith are all about domination at the moment. The Panthers have won 24 of 25 stretching back to round six last season and notched 10 victories in their past 12 regular season contests against the Sea Eagles.

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