Penrith Panthers, 2nd (7-3) Vs Wests Tigers, 7th (6-4)
17 May 2018, 7:50pm

The Penrith Machine keeps on rolling with another solid win away from home, come up against the Wests Tigers who stood tall with a short turn around.
The Penrith Panthers (PP) went to the Newcastle Knights (NK) home ground and came out firing and put the young NK under pressure which they could not recover from. Add to the early pressure the PP reduced their error count to 5 and completed at 84% to show their class and premiership credentials. This week a repeat performance will be required as they come up against a Wests Tigers (WT) who rose to the challenge again.
WT, once again showed that they will continue to turn up for each other and their fans. They took to the middle third and showed up a much bigger forward pack in the Cowboys, out running them by 222m, 12 more runs and completed at an outstanding 88%. All this adds up and they will need to get this form going again to be able to compete against the PP.

Game Stats that Matter:
Conversion/Penalty combined Success Rate could be the major difference in this game:
Maloney Last 3 Rounds: 6/6, 2/4 and 5/6
Marsters Last 3 Rounds: 2/5, 0/1, 5/5
Across the completions, errors, average run meters, line breaks they are fairy even.
The only main other difference is the Points Scored, with PP on 223 and 172 for the WT. Suggesting if Penrith can get off to another flyer, it could be a long night for the WT.

PP Team Analysis:
PP Star no.7 N. Cleary returns earlier than expected this week, just in time to take on his father. This causes a slight reshuffle, with T. Peachey moving back to the centre position, I.Yeo back to his preferred position at Second Row. This forces up and coming power house V. Kikau to rest on the pine.
Safe to say all of NSW will be watching N. Cleary and hoping he has fully recovered from his injury. In regards to the PP, as long as he is fit, the transition should be seamless, with J. Maloney more than happy to play second fiddle to this young super star in the making. Moving T. Peachey to the centre position and moving I. Yeo also strengthens the team and gives them more stability. A frighting thought considering the current form of the PP.

WT Team Analysis:
M. Fonua’s poor discipline has risen its ugly head again and has been dropped from the run on 17 and 21 man squad. His replacement is no slouch with K. Naiqama named as No.4.
Although M. Fonua has been one of the outstanding players for the WT, K. Naiqama is arguably better. He provides the same aspects as Fonua but has much better on field discipline and control, which is going to be their focus this week in making the PP defend for long periods rather than a points shoot out.

Possible Ladder movement:
PP – Currently 2nd, could move to equal 1st with the Dragons or join the pack on 14 points depending on results and for/against could fall to 5th.
WT – Currently 7th and at the lower end of the pack of 5 teams sitting on 12 points. A win could see them inside the top 4, a loss could see them out of the Top 8, such is this 2018 competition.

Weather, A glorious day at the foot of the mountains is forecasted with a High of 23*c and a low of 7*c and not a cloud in sight. With a predicted 12*c-13*c come game time, with clear skies.

For Us, Penrith win this game between 4-10 points, at $1.60 on LadBrokes, is the best odds, with the other book makers in Sports Bet, Bet365, William Hill and Crown Bet having the PP at $1.55, as a nice multi filler.
The WT aren’t traveling too well in Night games and away from home with a 2-3 / 2-2 this year respectfully. While the PP have won 4-1 at home and 4-2 at night. Compounding these statistics PP have won 10 of their last 11 games at their home ground.
If you must take the line, “Buy a point” to reduce the line to -3.5 (effectively a try difference), the Best Bookie we found for this line out of the five above is Ladbrokes at $1.83.

Panthers -3.5 @ 1.83 (Ladbrokes)

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