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Unfortunately for the Roosters, this is probably the round the Panthers are drawing a line in the sand saying "enough is enough".

After losing two on the trot without their Origin players, the dynamic duo of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai will be back in the halves alongside their link-man Isaah Yeo at lock to right the good ship Penrith.

A proud side that won 12 in a row won't want to lose three straight, and instead will be focused on restoring normal transmission. The Panthers normally only concede eight points a match but last week dropped 19 against the Sharks and 26 to the Wests Tigers the week before.

Old mates act: Hughes' Wolfpack hunting for a cure

The Roosters are far from full strength but have rallied the past two weeks to post wins against the Raiders and Titans. Their luck might run out before a full-bodied BlueBet Stadium crowd in full voice on Friday night.

The rundown

Team news

Panthers: Nathan Cleary (facial laceration) will play after joining his teammates for training this week. 

Origin trio Isaah Yeo, Kurt Capewell and Liam Martin will replace Viliame Kikau (hamstring), Scott Sorensen (interchange) and J'maine Hopgood (reserves) in the back row.

The only change to the 17 named on Tuesday comes on the bench with Spencer Leniu (No.18) replacing Matt Eisenhuth. Brent Naden is the 18th man.

Rookie second-rower Izack Tago has retained his place on the interchange and will play his third NRL game.

Hopgood and Tyrone May dropped off the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off.

The Panthers have won three of their past four games against the Roosters.

Roosters: In a raft of changes announced an hour before kick-off, Joseph Suaalii will start at centre, Joseph Manu moves to five-eighth, Adam Keighran goes back to hooker, Siosiua Taukeiaho moves to lock and Fletcher Baker into the front row.

Benjamin Thomas is on the interchange bench and Billy Smith is the 18th man.

Halfback Sam Walker (shoulder) and back-rower Sitili Tupouniua (foot) are out.

Ben Marschke has been suspended for two games for dangerous contact. 

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has a 9-5 record against Panthers rival Ivan Cleary.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Matt Burton
    Centre for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Adam Keighran
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Sam Verrills
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Egan Butcher
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Izack Tago
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 18 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Ben Thomas

Reserves

  • Reserve for Panthers is number 21 Brent Naden
    Reserve for Roosters is number 18 Billy Smith

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves v James Fisher-Harris: Kiwis to the core, Waerea-Hargreaves and Fisher-Harris are arch-enemies this week and will rock the stadium with the hits they're about to put on each other.

It's hard to pick who is "top prop" - Fisher-Harris is slightly ahead in average metres (174) and hit-ups (14) per game. But last week against the Titans, in his 250th match, Waerea-Hargreaves covered 202 metres from 19 runs. And he played the entire 80 minutes.

Stat attack

Try picking a winner from these two when from their last 10 meetings, dating back to 2015, the win-loss between the Panthers and Roosters sits at 5-5. The fact the Panthers have won three of the past four since 2019 might help. 

 

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