Penrith Panthers will be hoping to bounce back from Monday’s disappointing defeat against Manly when they entertain an out-of-sorts Wests Tigers on Sunday.
The Panthers had an opportunity to strike hard at a weakened Manly last Monday night but their poor performance has raised plenty of doubts about their ability to compete with the leading clubs this season.
Not only were the Sea Eagles missing forward strike weapons Glenn Stewart and Tony Williams but key backs Brett Stewart and Kieran Foran were also absent, leaving the premiers vulnerable to defeat.
But the Panthers failed to rise to the occasion and slumped to a 30-0 loss. Penrith will confront an opposition that has performed way below expectations this season when they meet the Wests Tigers at Centrebet Stadium but it shapes as another difficult battle for Ivan Cleary’s men.
Despite falling to their fifth successive loss last weekend, the Tigers appear to be edging closer to a breakthrough victory. They looked rattled in the opening exchanges against Brisbane but their attitude to defence could not be faulted.
The loss of lock Chris Heighington with a broken hand will hit hard but if their attacking game can find some rhythm then they may finally take a step in the right direction.
Look for Wests Tigers to score a try as First Scoring Play and consider a Tigers win by 1-12 points.
Best chances for First Tryscorer are Etu Uaisele, Lachlan Coote or Michael Jennings for Penrith or Beau Ryan, Chris Lawrence or Lote Tuqiri for Wests Tigers.
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