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LeagueUnlimited's Paul Zines gives us his tips and a full preview of Round 21 of the National Rugby League.
The Sea Eagles are still to the team to beat this year despite a poor performance against the Roosters last week. Conceding three early tries, Manly were unable to play an expansive game to fight their way back due to the terrible conditions. With key forwards Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart missing, they were dominated around the ruck in a disappointing day for the travelling faithful. Stewart returns for the home-side in what is sure to be a very tricky game against a vastly improving Panthers outfit. Not long ago, many had Penrith as one of the teams that could find themselves holding the wooden spoon at the end of the year. They have turned their season around by playing with plenty of confidence. In my opinion, it was the move of Luke Lewis to the halves. He has added some spark and creativity to a very talented line-up. With big forwards, quick backs, a sharp-shooting goal kicker and a young-enthusiastic bench, the Panthers could be a surprise packet should they find their way into the final series. Maurice Blair moves into the centres for the away-side, replacing the talented Lachlan Coote who is out for six weeks with a knee injury. Despite having won seven of the last eight against the Panthers at Brookvale Oval, I smell an upset and a big one at that because to beat the Sea Eagles at their fortress is no easy task, but I think the boys from the mountains are up for it. Panthers by 2
SEA EAGLES: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Michael Robertson 3. Steve Bell 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Steve Menzies 7. Matt Orford (c) 8. Brent Kite 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Luke Williamson 12. Glenn Hall 13. Glenn Stewart Interchange: 14. Heath L'Estrange 15. Mark Bryant 16. Adam Cuthbertson 17. Jack Afamasaga; Reserves: 18. Jeff Robson 19. Phil Morwood
PANTHERS: 1. Rhys Wesser 2. Brad Tighe 3. Michael Jennings 4. Maurice Blair 5. Michael Gordon 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Lewis 8. Tony Puletua 9. Luke Priddis 10. Petero Civoniceva (c) 11. Frank Pritchard 12. Trent Waterhouse 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Matthew Bell 15. Junior Moors 16. Joseph Paulo 17. Masada Iosefa; Reserves: 18. Frank Puletua
Yes I said Melbourne would win, but only by four points. I told you teams lift when playing the Premiers. It