Following a thrilling Magic Round victory, the Sydney Roosters face another big test this Saturday against the reigning Premiers at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers
Easts and Penrith have done battle since 1967, and throughout that time the Roosters have amassed 56 victories from their 95 contests with a solitary draw back in second meeting at a 59% winning record.
Momentum, however, has been with the Panthers over the last few seasons, having announced themselves as consistent Premiership contenders since 2020, which has seen them take out the last four wins between the two clubs.
Only six points separated the sides in their last meeting in 2021 at Suncorp Stadium, with the Red, White and Blue's gallant comeback falling just short in a 20-14 defeat.
The Roosters have overcome a clunky start to the season to string together back-to-back victories in their fortnight in Queensland, but this weekend will be a new ball game against the ladder-leading Panthers who bounced back from a solitary defeat with a big win over fellow contenders Melbourne.
Street Chat | Magic Members in Brisbane
How They Line Up
Head Coach Trent Robinson has made some minor changes to the line up this week, with Victor Radley coming out of the side through injury.
The absence of Radley sees Nat Butcher start at lock, while the returning Lindsay Collins has been named on the interchange bench.
The remainder of the team is unchanged, with James Tedesco captaining the team at fullback.
Joseph Suaalii will line up alongside Daniel Tupou on the flanks, while Paul Momirovski and Joey Manu will again make up the centre pairing.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul MomirovskiCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph SuaaliiWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam WalkerFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke KearyHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-HargreavesProp for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
Hooker for Roosters is number 14 Drew HutchisonHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Roosters is number 17 Lindsay CollinsProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Roosters is number 13 Nat Butcher2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Connor WatsonInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Mitch Kenny
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher BakerInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Egan ButcherInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Roosters is number 24 Terrell MayInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan LamReplacement for Panthers is number 24 Charlie Staines
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
Sam Walker and Luke Keary will continue to line up in the No.6 and No.7 jerseys respectively after strong outings against Parramatta.
Siosiua Taukeiaho, Connor Watson and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves line up in the front row, while the starting side is rounded off with Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua and Butcher.
Drew Hutchison, Fletcher Baker, Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Collins make up the interchange bench, with Lachlan Lam named at 18th man.
Egan Butcher, Ben Marschke, Naufahu Whyte, Kevin Naiqama, Adam Keighran and Terrell May make up this week's extended bench.
The Panthers have named the same line up that defeated the Melbourne Storm during Magic Round, and with the likes of Nathan Cleary, James Fisher-Harris, Jarome Luai and Brian To'o, Trent Robinson's men will need to be on red alert throughout the entire 80 minutes.
Key Match Up: Daniel Tupou vs Brian To'o
Despite their difference in height and experience, Daniel Tupou and Brian To'o are two of the most valuable wingers for their respective teams.
In his eleventh season in the Red, White and Blue, Tupou has owned the skies once again on the left-hand side, scoring nine tries from his six appearances while making eight linebreaks and averaging an impressive 166 metres with the ball in hand.
Following an inaugural Premiership and State of Origin debut, his opponent in To'o has had a disrupted 2022 season through injury, yet to touch down in his four appearances but has still caused trouble for defences with fifteen tackle breaks and 178 average run metres.
With plenty of action expected across the park, look to these two colossal wingers to get their side's going from the backfield in what will be one of the key match ups between these two Premiership contenders.
What They Said
“We had a good game last week and we want to build on the back of that. We’re looking forward to it. They’ve probably been the best team in the comp at the moment but for us we want to work on ourselves." - Joseph Manu
“We spoke after the game about this being the sort of big game that we want to be playing well in. It’s going to be a big test for us on Saturday but it’s one we’re looking forward to." - Drew Hutchison
"They stay in the arm wrestle for the whole 80 minutes and it's going to be one of those games where we can't give them any chances. Our discipline and our ball control has to be pretty high to put us in a good position to win the game." - James Tedesco
With confidence high on the back of two consecutive wins in Queensland, the Roosters will be raring to go and test themselves against the competition's benchmark.
Roosters Members and fans will be treated to a unique experience that will see a majority of the 2021 NRLW squad take the field on game day for a lap of honour following their emphatic Grand Final victory in April.
Be sure to grab your tickets here and see the likes of Captain Corban Baxter, Isabelle Kelly, Jess Sergis, Sarah Togatuki and co take the field and celebrate our Club's most recent success before the NRL side face the Panthers in what will be an exciting match up.