Stacey Jones' baptism of fire as an NRL coach continues as the rampant premiers come to town looking to heap more pain on the Vodafone Warriors.
The Panthers could not have been more impressive in their demolition of Newcastle while the Vodafone Warriors started well enough against Cronulla but fell away badly in Jones' first game at the helm.
Ivan Cleary's men have lost just one game all season and have positioned themselves perfectly to emulate the Roosters in 2018-19 and collect back-to-back premierships.
If the Vodafone Warriors are to throw a spanner in the works they will need to get their discipline in check and cut out the simple errors that cost them any chance of victory against the Sharks.
Vodafone Warriors: Several changes for interim coach Stacey Jones in his second game in charge. Youngster Ronald Volkman will make his NRL debut at five-eighth, pushing Chanel Harris-Tavita to the bench while Jesse Arthars comes into the centres at the expense of Rocco Berry.
With Ben Murdoch-Masila suffering a dislocated elbow, Bunty Afoa moves into the starting side and Aaron Pene rejoins the bench. Euan Aitken misses the game with concussion and his place is taken by Josh Curran.
Hooker Wayde Egan plays his 50th game for the club after joining the Vodafone Warriors from the Panthers on 2020.
Panthers: Skipper Isaah Yeo returns for the premiers after he was given a rest last weekend so Matt Eisenhuth goes back to the reserves.
Match: Warriors v Panthers
Round 15 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece WalshFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
Centre for Warriors is number 3 Jesse ArtharsCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Ronald VolkmanFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Warriors is number 10 Jazz TevagaProp for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde EganHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Warriors is number 23 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jack Murchie2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Warriors is number 13 Josh Curran2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Warriors is number 12 Tohu HarrisLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Warriors is number 8 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Chanel Harris-TavitaInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Dunamis LuiInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Bayley SironenInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
Replacement for Warriors is number 20 Eliesa KatoaReplacement for Panthers is number 19 Matthew Eisenhuth
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
Shaun Johnson v Nathan Cleary: Johnson returned to the Vodafone Warriors amid plenty of fanfare in 2022 but the homecoming has been anything but a happy one. The veteran playmaker has copped plenty of criticism as the Vodafone Warriors have slumped to a 4-10 record but he has still come up with 13 forced dropouts, seven try assists and five line break assists. Cleary joined the party late after off-season shoulder surgery but the gifted No.7 has been in majestic form with 10 try assists, 12 forced dropouts and three 40-20 kicks, including a monster against the Knights on Sunday which he launched from his own 30-metre line. Cleary took the heat for the Blues' loss in Origin One and he'll be looking for a big game in his final tune-up for game two.
The Panthers' points differential in their premiership year in 2021 was +390 at the end of the regular season. With 10 games still to play this season they are sitting on +264, well clear of the Storm on +197 and Cowboys +179.