FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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Wests Tigers are tough and dangerous and John Lang knows it.
"There's no way we'll be taking them lightly. They've been doing the basics well, very well in fact, and any side doing the basics right is difficult to beat. We're well aware of that."
Topping the ladder with the Sydney Roosters on 32 points, but with a worse points differential, Lang's men are right in the hunt for the minor premiership - as long as they don't suffer an upset loss in the next three weeks.
They face a trio of non-finalists in the Tigers at home, the Sea Eagles away and Parramatta at home.
The Panthers should win all three and the Roosters travel a tougher road: the Sea Eagles at home, New Zealand away and most tellingly, premiership heavyweights Canberra away.
"All we can do is try to win all three games and see where that leaves us," said Penrith captain Craig Gower.
"The minor premiership would be a big achievement, but we can't afford get too far ahead of ourselves. We need to concentrate on this weekend."
Wests have knocked over a selection of big scalps recently despite their lowly 12th position on the ladder, downing Newcastle, Brisbane, Parramatta and Cronulla and being pipped by only two points by Canberra.
Gower's scrumbase battle with teenage sensation Benji Marshall will be a highlight, as will the arm wrestle between two tough packs of forwards.
"I haven't seen too much of Benji," said Gower.
"He looks like a good young kid coming through, but it doesn't really matter to me who I go out there against. It doesn't change the way I'm going to play."