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A Penrith side that is still to suffer a loss in 2021 welcomes a Canterbury side with a 1-10 record.

The Panthers - fresh off a 56-12 thrashing of South Sydney - are arguably in better form now than when they scored a 28-0 win over the Bulldogs in round two.

Anything less than Canterbury's best means a win is highly unlikely. But if they can start well and generate some self-belief they just might be able to make something happen as the game approaches the final whistle.

After conceding 30 points in a loss to Gold Coast last weekend a stronger defensive line would be a great start.

The rundown

Team news

Panthers: Maroons back-rower Kurt Capewell (crusher) accepted a one-week ban with an early plea, allowing Moses Leota (shoulder) to slot back in after his late withdrawal last week. Liam Martin shifts back to the second row.

Dylan Edwards (hamstring) has failed to recover so Stephen Crichton stays at fullback and Paul Momirovski partners hat-trick hero Matt Burton in the centres.

Izack Tago is the 18th man, with Robert Jennings dropping off the extended bench on game day. Mitch Kenny and Lindsay Smith were omitted when the squad was trimmed to 19 players 24 hours out from kick-off.

The Panthers have won their past 14 games at BlueBet Stadium.

Bulldogs: In a late change, Brad Deitz starts at hooker with Jackson Topine moving to the bench.

Jack Hetherington returns at prop and captain Josh Jackson is back locking the scrum in a major revamp of the Canterbury pack.

Ava Seumanufagai drops back to the interchange, Adam Elliott moves from No.13 to the second row in place of Chris Smith (suspended) and Topine returns from injury to replace Sione Katoa (suspended) in the squad.. 

Fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will play despite suffering a foot injury in the loss to Gold Coast and rookie centre Aaron Schoupp retains his place.

Corey Waddell is the 18th man with Tui Katoa omitted from the reserves an hour before kick-off. Kyle Flanagan and Renouf Atoni were dropped from the bench on Friday.

Bulldogs winger Nick Meaney has scored tries in his past three games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Stephen Crichton
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick Cotric
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Paul Momirovski
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Will Hopoate
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Matt Burton
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Aaron Schoupp
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Nick Meaney
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Brandon Wakeham
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jake Averillo

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Jack Hetherington
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 14 Bradley Deitz
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Luke Thompson
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Adam Elliott
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Matt Doorey
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Tyrone May
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 9 Jackson Topine
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Joe Stimson
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Dylan Napa
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Ava Seumanufagai

Reserves

  • Reserve for Panthers is number 21 Izack Tago
    Reserve for Bulldogs is number 20 Corey Waddell

Match Officials

  • Referee: Matt Noyen
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Mark Bohan
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

James Fisher-Harris v Luke Thompson: Penrith's unsung hero faces another stern test in the shape of the aggressive Englishman. Thompson has been a shining light for the Dogs pack in the matches he's played. He needs to lead the way once again for his side to be any hope.

Stat attack

When the two teams met in Round 2, the Bulldogs had just 41 per cent of possession and made one line break over the 80 minutes. Canterbury didn't have one forward that ran for more than 100m in the match.

 

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