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Round 11 Match Preview: Contest in the West

The Sydney Roosters return to the foot of the mountains this Friday evening to take on the Penrith Panthers in BlueBet Stadium blockbuster.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Penrith Panthers

The Roosters meet the Panthers for the first time this season in what will be the 98th contest between the two clubs since Penrith’s inception in 1966.

The Red, White and Blue currently hold the ledger with 56 wins, but the hosts have set the competition benchmark in recent years – making for a tough battle, especially in enemy territory.

Last time they met, Joseph Manu terrorised the Panthers’ defence, breaking 14 tackles and assisting with one try, but ultimately Penrith claimed the two competition points in front of a home crowd.

Both clubs have had a rocky start to the 2023 season, recording five wins from nine games, so this match will serve as the perfect opportunity to make a statement before the Origin period commences.

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson has made two changes to the line-up following the Roosters’ Magic Round contest with the North Queensland Cowboys.

Angus Crichton comes into the starting line-up in the second row, replacing Egan Butcher who sustained a concussion in Round 10, while Fletcher Baker has been named on the interchange bench.

James Tedesco will captain from fullback again this week, joining the skipper in the back line are wingers Corey Allan and Jaxson Paulo as well as centres Billy Smith and Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii.

Joseph Manu and Luke Keary make up the halves pairing, while representative forwards Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brandon Smith and Lindsay Collins bolster the front row.

Crichton joins Nat Butcher and Victor Radley in the back row to complete the starting side.

The interchange bench features Drew Hutchison, Fletcher Baker, Sitili Tupouniua and Matt Lodge. Jake Turpin has been named as the 18th man and Naufahu Whyte, Sam Walker, Tuipulotu Katoa, Terrell May round out the line-up on the extended bench.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Sunia Turuva
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Corey Allan
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Tyrone Peachey
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Billy Smith
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Joseph Manu
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary


  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
    Hooker for Roosters is number 18 Jake Turpin
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Scott Sorensen
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Zac Hosking
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley


  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Soni Luke
    Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Lindsay Smith
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher Baker
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 21 Liam Martin
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Matthew Lodge


  • Replacement for Panthers is number 22 Liam Henry
    Replacement for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary has named the same side that downed the Warriors in Round 10, including back-rower Liam Martin on the extended bench, who is a possibility to return after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Key Match Up: Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii vs Stephen Crichton

Bringing versatility to the back line, World Cup heroes Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii and Stephen Crichton played an integral part in Samoa’s campaign and will be looking to light up the field for their respective sides when they go head-to-head this week.

This season’s statistics barely separate the two young centres. In attack, Suaalii has made three linebreaks and assisted with two tries, while Crichton has made four linebreaks and assisted with three tries. Both centres have broken more than 25 tackles and crossed the stripe at least once.

Defensively, Crichton holds the advantage making 120 tackles in nine appearances this season to Suaalii’s 82. But, when it comes to goal-kicking, the 19-year-old maintains a 100% conversion rate to his counterpart’s 85.7%.

With both teams looking to cement a position in the top eight ahead of Origin, keep your eyes on the battle of the centres, who can dictate how their respective teams score points on Friday night.

What They Said

"We know how we want to play and we know how we can beat them so now we’ve got to stand up and do it." – Victor Radley

"It’s a good chance to go out and get it done this week against a top team." – James Tedesco

Final Verdict

The Roosters will be aiming to bounce back from their Magic Round loss to the Cowboys with a win over the defending Premiers at their home stadium.

Roosters Members and supporters will be treated to a double-header in Penrith, with the NSW Cup team playing prior to kick-off, so get your tickets here and head in early to cheer on some familiar faces!

It's not too late to Call yourself a Rooster in 2023! There’s a membership for you no matter your situation.

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.