Magpies primed to take on table-topping Panthers

Wests Tigers Intrust Super Premiership side, Western Suburbs Magpies, will look to make it back-to-back wins when they take on the Penrith Panthers this Sunday.

Sitting on top of the Intrust Super Premiership ladder with just four games left in the regular season, Penrith can in fact secure the minor premiership on Sunday while Western Suburbs could end the round as high as second — giving both sides all the motivation needed for an enthralling contest.

It was the Magpies who got the points when these two sides met earlier in the year; Brett Hodgson's producing their best defensive performance of the year to hold the Panthers out in the second half despite periods of sustained pressure to emerge with a gritty 18-10 victory at North Sydney Oval.

Since that day, Penrith have produced a remarkable run of form that has seen them gone undefeated despite a number of close-run contests against top eight sides in the Jets, Warriors, Bulldogs and Roos.

Once a chance of contending for the minor premiership, Wests haven't been as fortunate in recent times with two heavy defeats to the Bulldogs and Mounties following their Round 17 bye, but a courageous last start win over the Sea Eagles at Lottoland will no doubt have given the side plenty of confidence. 

Trailing by 12 points, the Magpies found the attack that they had been missing in recent weeks to come over the top over the Blacktown Workers side and emerge with a 32-26 victory in the end.

Wests Tigers 2018 Development Player Sam McIntyre.
Wests Tigers 2018 Development Player Sam McIntyre.

While the class of Jacob Liddle shone through, Coach Hodgson would also have been pleased with the way in which the several Jersey Flegg-eligible players handled themselves in the higher competition — naming Sam McIntyre, Thomas Mikaele, Ben Seufale and Alex Seyfarth for Sunday's clash against the Panthers. 

NRL squad members Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Tyson Gamble, Pita Godinet, Jacob Liddle and Robbie Rochow have all been named while others may come in to the squad following the club's NRL changes.

Top of the table for a reason, Penrith at home is arguably the toughest fixture remaining on the schedule for Western Suburbs this year as they finish the season with four away games. The Panthers have broken more tackles than any other team this year while also missing the second fewest tackles of any team.

With the two sides ranking first and second respectively this year for fewest errors, Sunday's game is shaping as a tight contest between two sides with everything to play for and definitely not one to miss!

Kickoff is at 1:45pm from Panthers Stadium, following the two clubs' Jersey Flegg game at 11:45am.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Caleb Aekins
    Fullback for Magpies is number 1 Watson Heleta
  • Winger for Panthers is number 22 Christian Crichton
    Winger for Magpies is number 2 Harrison O'Toole
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Tyrone Phillips
    Centre for Magpies is number 3 Braden Robson
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Sam Smith
    Centre for Magpies is number 21 Chris McQueen
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Magpies is number 23 Dylan Smith
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Adam Keighran
    Five-Eighth for Magpies is number 6 Tyson Gamble
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Liam Coleman
    Halfback for Magpies is number 7 Pita Godinet

Forwards

  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Kaide Ellis
    Prop for Magpies is number 8 Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Magpies is number 20 Kurt Aldridge
  • Prop for Panthers is number 20 Jack Hetherington
    Prop for Magpies is number 10 Cowen Epere
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 William Burns
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 11 Robbie Rochow
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Corey Waddell
    2nd Row for Magpies is number 12 Sam McIntyre
  • Lock for Panthers is number 10 Liam Martin
    Lock for Magpies is number 13 Patrice Siolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Panthers is number 13 Siosifa Talakai
    Interchange for Magpies is number 14 Bayley Sironen
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Andy Saunders
    Interchange for Magpies is number 15 Thomas Mikaele
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Mitch Revell
    Interchange for Magpies is number 16 Ben Seufale
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Ratu Tuisese
    Interchange for Magpies is number 18 Alex Seyfarth