The Canberra Raiders will be looking to break the Penrith Panthers seven-game winning streak when they meet at Panthers Stadium on Sunday.
The Green Machine are coming into the game with back to back wins, defeating the St George-Illawarra Dragons 36-14 in Round 17 and beating the West Tigers 20-12 last week.
Raiders’ Sia Soliola will reach a massive milestone this week, with the former New Zealand and Samoan international making his 100th appearance for the Green Machine since joining the club in 2015.
The Panthers are coming off a massive 40- 18 win over the St George-Illawarra Dragons, winger Brian To’o and centre Brent Naden both scored two tries for their side.
The Raiders defeated the Panthers 30-12 in Round 8 at McDonalds Park in Wagga Wagga. It was Canberra’s first victory against Penrith in the previous four matches between the clubs.
Head to Head:
Jack Wighton vs James Maloney
Panthers Stadium will see a clash between two New South Wales Origin Representatives when Jack Wighton comes up against James Maloney.
The Raiders’ five-eighth has been remarkable all season, with six tries and 1,616 total running metres this year.
Wighton has also been imposing with the boot, he averages 256.6 kicking metres and has also forced 11 drop-outs in 2019.
Maloney has been a central figure for the Panthers with his kicking game proving crucial in Penrith’s rise up the ladder. The five-eighth has 4,213 total kicking metres and also ranks first in field goals for the NRL with four.
Both men will be looking to provide a strong kicking game to help their side secure the victory.
Bailey Simonsson vs Brian To’o
Two in-form rookie wingers will face off against each other on Sunday afternoon when Bailey Simonsson clashes with Brian To’o.
The Raiders’ winger has been impressive in his debut season, with five tries in eleven appearances for the side.
Simonsson has also posted 1475 total running metres this year, whilst also having a notable 35 tackle breaks to his name.
Penrith’s To’o has also been impressive since coming into the Panthers side, the winger has scored five tries in eight appearances, with a double last round against the Dragons.
Both wingers will be looking to continue their try scoring form while also making plenty of metres coming out of their own ends.
Dunamis Lui vs James Fisher-Harris
A forwards battle will take place on Sunday afternoon when Dunamis Lui faces off against James Fisher-Harris.
Lui has had a productive season to date and his hard work paid off last week, with the prop scoring his first try for the Green Machine and also his first since 2014.
Lui has also been reliable in defence, with 404 tackles made this season with a tackle efficiency of 89.7%.
Panthers’ Fisher-Harris has been one of the best for his side whilst posting 743 tackles and an 88.3% tackle efficiency in 2019. He also has two tries to his name so far this season.
Both men will be working hard in defence while also looking to get involved in the attack.
Quote: “It’s another challenge for us and one we are looking forward too,” – Jarrod Croker.
Head to Head:
The Raiders and Panthers have met each other on 77 occasions, with Penrith claiming 38 wins compared to Canberra’s 37, with two games ending in a draw.