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Competition leaders Penrith roll into the Warriors' Central Coast home away from home on an eight-game winning streak that has many pegging them as grand finalists.

The Panthers blew Canberra away on Saturday night with a 24-0 first-half blitz thanks to stellar performances across the park from the likes of Nathan Cleary, Apisai Koroisau, Viliame Kikau, Jarome Luai, Stephen Crichton, Isaah Yeo and Josh Mansour.

Penrith have been a brick wall in the opening quarter so far in 2020, taking their streak of not conceding a point in the first 20 minutes to 12 against Canberra. In that span they have dropped just three premiership points, losing to the Eels and drawing with the Knights.

The Warriors have been forced to negotiate a nightmare 2020 season but the gloom has begun to lift recently, a two-game winning streak nudging them to within four points of the eight in 11th spot.

The Rundown

Team news

Warriors: The Warriors are 1-17. Prop Jack Hetherington's suspension opens the door for Lachlan Burr to move from the bench into the starting side. Isaiah Papali'i is the new man on the interchange. The Warriors are chasing three consecutive wins for the first time since Round 5, 2018.

Gerard Beale and Josh Curran were cut from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off. Jack Murchie and Adam Keighran were omitted an hour before game time.

Panthers: A late change for the Panthers with Dylan Edwards returning from a hamstring injury at fullback. Caleb Aekins drops out of the side to make way for Edwards, who hasn't played since round 10. 

Mitch Kenny and Matt Burton were omitted from the reserves 24 hours before kick-off. Billy Burns was cut along with Aekins an hour before kick-off.

The Panthers are aiming for a club-record nine consecutive wins.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Panthers is number 19 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Patrick Herbert
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Josh Mansour
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Tyrone May
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 George Jennings
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brent Naden
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Kodi Nikorima
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Karl Lawton
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Lachlan Burr
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Eliesa Katoa
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
    Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Wayde Egan
    Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Daine Laurie
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Adam Blair
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses Leota
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Isaiah Papali'i
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Zane Tetevano

Key match-up

Eliesa Katoa v Viliame Kikau: The Warriors' 20-year-old rookie second-rower has been in fine form since returning from injury, crossing for a try last round against the Sea Eagles, but Katoa will have to dig deep if he is to keep up with Kikau who was devastating against the Raiders.

Kikau strolled over for a four-pointer early against Canberra and seemingly broke the line at will. The in-form Panthers are certain to give their potent attacking weapon plenty of opportunities.

Stat Attack

Every time the Warriors have scored 26 points they have collected the two points in 2020. They have finished on that score in their past three wins and chalked it up on the way to 37 in a round five triumph over the Cowboys. The only one of their five wins in which they didn't hit that number was an 18-0 victory over the Dragons in round three.