Penrith has set up a blockbuster finals clash with defending premiers the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium next Saturday, after producing a solid 22-6 victory over the Warriors at Sportingbet Stadium tonight.
The Panthers and Roosters will meet at 5.50pm next Saturday at Allianz Stadium, with the winner to be granted a week off. The loser will remain alive in the competition, but will head straight to an elimination match in week two.
Members can purchase tickets to the match from 10am tomorrow, with general public tickets on sale 24 hours later. The NRL has confirmed that Members will receive discounted prices, while walk-up tickets will cost significantly more than pre-booked seats.
Much of the build-up to Saturday’s game will be about team selection, with both the Panthers and Roosters facing uncertainty.
Penrith will welcome back Jeremy Latimore from suspension and possibly Issah Yeo from injury, leaving Ivan Cleary to drop two players from the side that defeated the Warriors this evening.
The Roosters have continuing injury doubts over Jake Friend, but much of the focus will be on the judiciary.
Aidan Guerra will miss the clash with Penrith if he submits an early guilty plea to a ‘chicken wing’ charge, while Dylan Napa is almost certain to miss the game after being hit with a grade two shoulder charge offence. He faces between three and four matches on the sidelines.
A good crowd of close to 14,000 turned out at Sportingbet Stadium tonight to see the Panthers at home for the final time in 2014. Penrith’s win kicked the Warriors out of the top eight, and gave Brisbane’s season life, with the Broncos slipping into eighth spot.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was thrilled that has side finished in the top four after a consistent regular season.
“We’ve been pretty much in the top four all year bar a couple off weeks,” he told Fox Sports.
“Our whole aim this year was to improve on last year and I think we’ve done that significantly.”