The Raiders hope to be the first team to defeat the Panthers heading into Friday night’s clash against the top of the ladder side.
The Raiders go face-to-face with the Panthers on Friday night at BlueBet Stadium in Penrith. With a 7:55pm kick-off it is set to be one of the toughest games of the season so far.
After showing their ability to defend the opposition on the line last week, the Raiders defence will be crucial to their success in round five.
Last Time They Met
Raiders haven’t played Penrith since round 13 of the 2020 season, where the Panthers won 28-12 in a Penrith home game. In what was a close game, the Raiders got over the line multiple times, but the Penrith defence won.
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Seb Kris v Matt Burton
Two players, both inexperienced in the NRL but have showed plenty of talent in the opening rounds of the season. Kris and Burton have both scored one try this season and will hope to get in for another on Friday night.
Seb Kris continues to impress the Raiders in the centre, in both defence and attack. His strength and ability to run the ball will be crucial on Friday night.
Josh Hodgson v Mitch Kenny
For the two hooker’s it will be a game of experience with Josh Hodgson against a youthful Mitch Kenny. Hodgson, having played 121 NRL matches will steer the Raiders around the park, with immense control of the ball. In a game expected to be of high intensity, Kenny who has played just 21 NRL games will have to keep composure.
Hodgson and Kenny are also workhorses in defence. Last round, Hodgson made a remarkable 49 tackles against the Titans, and Kenny managed to make 35 tackles against the Sea Eagles. It will be a competitive matchup between the two.
Josh Papalii v Moses Leota
An exciting battle between two dominant forwards Papalii and Leota with be in play on Friday night. Both players had outstanding performances last week, with Papalii running just short of 200 metres and scoring his first try for the 2021 season. Leota also ran 172 metres in round four and crashed over for his first try of the season.
Papalii continues to be consistent each week in the middle, showing no signs of the faster game affecting his performance. With two very solid forwards going head-to-head we can expect some big contact on Friday night.
Head to head
The Raiders and Panthers have played 45 times, with the Raiders winning 22 and Penrith winning 23. Penrith are sitting on top of the ladder, with the Raiders currently at 5th.