Superstars might be thin on the ground out Penrith way at present but there is little question that Panthers coach Ivan Cleary is squeezing every last ounce of effort and ability from his charges.
Cleary’s men would have been pleased with themselves to get off to a 12-0 flyer against the Melbourne Storm last Sunday night but to defend that lead until full-time was little short of remarkable.
The New Zealand Warriors produced a similar defensive effort against Penrith a few years ago when Cleary was in charge of the Kiwi side and the performance helped to propel them to the play-offs.
That appears an unlikely prospect for Cleary’s outfit this year but stranger things have happened. The Panthers will draw strength and confidence from last Sunday’s effort and it is hard to see them surrendering meekly when the going gets tough in future.
The same can’t be said for the Warriors who have displayed little semblance of resilience after establishing substantial leads on numerous occasions over the past two seasons.
They almost caved in against the Gold Coast Titans a fortnight ago after leading handsomely and last Saturday night they folded against the Canterbury Bulldogs after leading by 16.
The Warriors are $2.15 with Luxbet
to secure an away win on Saturday with the Panthers $1.73 to back up the victory over the Melbourne Storm, but head into other markets and look for the trend to continue with a Warriors try as First Scoring Play and a Warriors/Panthers outcome in the Half/Full Double.
First Tryscorer options include David Simmons, Matt Moylan and Travis Robinson for the Panthers or Manu Vatuvei, Bill Tupou or Glen Fisiiahi for the Warriors.
Tip: Panthers by 2