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The Panthers have again been hit hard by Origin call-ups but such is their depth that they still go in as favourites against the battling Bulldogs.

A number of Penrith players were rested from NSW Cup duties on Sunday so they'd be fresh for duty if called up to face the Bulldogs, including playmaker Sean O'Sullivan who performed admirably in the first three rounds of the season while Nathan Cleary recovered from shoulder surgery.

The Bulldogs showed plenty of good signs on an emotional day at their spiritual home Belmore but still came up short to remain at the bottom of the table.

When these sides clashed at CommBank Stadium in round five it was the Panthers cruising home 32-12 but without a posse of their big guns they could find the going much tougher this time around.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Panthers v Bulldogs

The Rundown

Team news

Panthers: Sean O'Sullivan did a fine job steering the ship early in the season and he'll take charge again in the No.7 with Kurt Falls set to make his NRL debut at five-eighth with Jarome Luai also on Origin duty. Robert Jennings and Charlie Staines join the backline for Stephen Crichton and Brian To'o while Chris Smith and Matt Eisenhuth come in for Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo in the pack. Hooker Api Koroisau was named among the Blues reserves but will be released to play for Penrith. Fullback Dylan Edwards and prop James Fisher-Harris will captain the side. No changes when the squad was finalised before kick-off.

Bulldogs: Corey Allen replaces Matt Dufty at fullback in a late change before kick-off. Luke Thompson was ruled out on Thursday suffering from delayed symptoms of concussion. He is replaced in the starting side by Ava Seumanufagai with Joe Stimson joining the bench after originally being left out on Tuesday. Tevita Pangai jnr remains sidelined after missing the Dragons game due to back spasms. Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been promoted to the starting side and Corey Waddell goes to the bench. Josh Addo-Carr could consider himself unlucky to miss Blues selection but his presence is a bonus for interim coach Mick Potter.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 22 Corey Allan
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jacob Kiraz
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Aaron Schoupp
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Robert Jennings
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake Averillo
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Charlie Staines
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Kurt Falls
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Kyle Flanagan

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 17 Ava Seumanufagai
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Chris Smith
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Max King

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Zach Dockar-Clay
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey Waddell
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Chris Patolo
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 21 Joe Stimson

Reserves

  • Replacement for Panthers is number 21 Sunia Turuva
    Replacement for Bulldogs is number 25 Kurtis Morrin

Match Officials

  • Referee: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

James Fisher-Harris v Paul Vaughan: The Panthers enforcer has the honour of captaining his side this week and he'll be ripping in from the opening whistle, setting the standards and driving the undermanned Panthers in their pursuit of another win. While the Panthers' backs take the plaudits for their flashy finishing, it's Fisher-Harris who lays the platform with his fearsome charges that have yielded 142 metres per game in 2022. Vaughan has played every game this season for the Bulldogs, averaging 126 running metres and 31 tackles per game, and he'll look to take the fight to the Panthers. Both men will be up for the contest and both love to get down in the trenches.

Stat Attack

In the past four meetings between these clubs the Panthers have piled on 24 tries to the Bulldogs' three. The scoreline across the four matches was 132-16 to the Panthers.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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