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Panthers next on RCG's hit list after early injury return

Parramatta prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard's barnstorming return from a groin injury against the Knights has him primed to end his former club's season in Mackay on Saturday.

After missing five games, Campbell-Gillard returned a fortnight earlier than expected and got through a solid 40 minutes in the 28-20 win over Newcastle that kept the Eels' season alive for at least another week.

The 28-year-old ran for 107 metres but it was his strong hits that set the tone in defence to rattle Newcastle's big men and that's exactly what he'll be out to do again this week.

"The first 20 minutes it was very hot and I was trying to get back up to speed with anything. As the game got further on in the second half I started to get back into my groove again," Campbell-Gillard said.

"I think it was scheduled to be an 8-10 week injury so I did it in five or six. I needed for everything to go my way and in my favour so once we pretty much did the injury we thought the first semi-final.

"I thought we rehabbed it really well and it put myself in a position to return last weekend.

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"My general body soreness is back to square one again but I've still got a few more days to get over it."

The Eels will need Campbell-Gillard at his rampaging best again if they're able to spring an upset in Mackay, and they may well use South Sydney's qualifying final blueprint to overpower the Panthers' forward pack.

A local Panthers junior who was released to Parramatta less than halfway through a five-year contract extension, RCG says he has no axe to grind on a personal level with his old club.

"It's just part of the game at the moment and being in the middle, I leave nothing left out on the field," he said.

"We've got to do it again this week. I've been here for a while now and I call Parramatta home.

"It's do-or-die for both teams now and I've pretty much made it clear that we don't want to go home.

"We'll be doing everything and anything to give ourselves an opportunity for a good game on Saturday."

Let's tackle this together

On Penrith, Campbell-Gillard added: "They've been in the in-form team for the last two years. You can't take them lightly or dip the toe in against them.

"We have our hands full to put ourselves in a position to move forward. I think we've got to show them a lot of respect."

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