The Roosters have been something of an enigma in 2022, beating the Cowboys, Eels, Sea Eagles and Broncos but losing to the Bulldogs, Dragons and Knights.
They look to be settling into a groove though with two wins on the bounce and the form of Joseph Suaalii and Sam Walker in Magic Round will give them plenty of confidence as they prepare to tackle the premiers.
Penrith could not have been any more impressive in dismantling the Storm and they now sit alone at the top of the table as they close in on the testing State of Origin period when a number of their stars will be called up.
Much has been made of Penrith's remarkable home record in recent years but it's worth noting they are unbeaten in away games in 2022 so a trip to the iconic SCG will hold no fears for Ivan Cleary's men.
Sportsbet Betting preview: Roosters v Panthers
Roosters: Drew Hutchison again comes into the starting side at hooker in a game day swap with Connor Watson. Another change with Egan Butcher joining the bench and Daniel Suluka-Fifita dropping out.
Lindsay Collins was promoted to start in the front row in his return from a high tackle suspension after a forward reshuffle when the teams were trimmed to 19 players 24 hours before kick-off. With Sitili Tupouniua out, Nat Butcher moves to the second row and Sio Siua Taukeiaho shifts to lock. Terrell May is the new face on the interchange bench on NRL debut.
Panthers: The premiers roll out the same 17-man squad that took care of Melbourne in devastating fashion in Magic Round. They also have coach Ivan Cleary back on deck after he missed the trip to Brisbane due to knee surgery. Charlie Staines is 18h man.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul MomirovskiCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph SuaaliiWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam WalkerFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke KearyHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
Hooker for Roosters is number 14 Drew HutchisonHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Roosters is number 17 Lindsay CollinsProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Roosters is number 13 Nat Butcher2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Connor WatsonInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher BakerInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Egan ButcherInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Roosters is number 24 Terrell MayInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan LamReplacement for Panthers is number 24 Charlie Staines
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
Luke Keary v Nathan Cleary: Keary has roared to life in recent weeks with six try assists in his past three matches as the Roosters have piled on 87 points. All the signs are there that the three-time premiership winner's confidence is back and his kicking game and defence have followed suit as his attack has clicked. Cleary has already racked up 10 forced dropouts, eight try assists and 15 tackle breaks since returning to the field in round four and he has the Panthers sitting pretty on top of the table as they prepare to enter the Origin period.
Dylan Edwards has had 31 tackle breaks this season and is averaging a phenomenal 230 running metres per game. James Tedesco has busted 64 tackles and is churning out 216 metres. The two elite fullbacks sit first and second in the NRL for running metres with Edwards clocking up 2306 metres and Tedesco 2166.
Match: Roosters v Panthers
Round 11 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney