Greg Davis got Round 13 in the NRL off to a winning start on Thursday night and now Scooby returns to preview the sole Friday night game, which sees the Tigers hosting the Panthers from 7.55pm! Can the boys make it 2/2 in Round 13?
NRL Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers Betting Tips
Leichhardt Oval, Friday 7.55pm (AEST)
The Tigers were dominant last week against an understrength Dragons team 34-18. Heading into the game as favourites, the difference between the two sides was evident, with the Tigers leading comfortably 18-nil at HT. There was no looking back from this point. Contrary to previous weeks when they were unsuccessful, the Tigers executed at a better level. With 51% possession, they completed at 77%, made 363m more than the Dragons (1,887m v 1,504m), more post contact metres (632pcm v 462pcm), made 6 line breaks (2 for the Dragons) and missed fewer tackles (27 v 28). The only concern moving forward is the 13 errors they committed.
The change of halves, namely shifting Douehi to the centres, appears to be working for now. Their poor form has reduced the affect Origin will have on their team. The same cannot be said for the Panthers though, who are missing 7 players ahead of this match due to Origin duty. This was expected though and their players tuned up for that match with a comfortable 30-4 win over the Bulldogs in Round 12. With the result never in doubt, the Panthers cruised to victory with their opponent’s resolute defence limiting the home teams points.
They controlled the speed of the game well, having 53% possession and completing at 81%, while making 2,007m (634m more than the Bulldogs) and 5 line breaks. A lot of their success can be attributed to the players which are missing ahead of this game. Nevertheless, it gives players an opportunity to prove themselves worthy. Players who would normally be overlooked now find themselves with a chance and this atmosphere makes for some interesting viewing.
Head-to-Head = Tigers 13 Panthers 23
At Leichhardt Oval = Tigers 56% Panthers 57%
Last 10 Matches = Tigers 2 Panthers 8 – The average winning margin is 17 points for the Tigers and 18.4 points for the Panthers. The Panthers have won their past two matches at this ground, while the home team has a strong advantage in this match up, winning 8 out of the last 10 matches. Only twice has the Panthers winning margin been less than 14-points.
In a sign that the Panthers are going well this season, their depth is going to be tested this week with 7 players on Origin duty and one unavailable due to suspension. Yet, they still find themselves as favourites for this game and with a credible line up to keep their winning streak alive. For all their success, winning has become a habit for this club and the new players coming into the starting side or shifting positions will want to prove a point to their coach. Key positional changes/inclusions are Edwards (fullback), Crichton (centre), Burton (5/8), May (halfback) and Kenny (hooker). These players will undoubtedly ensure a high standard of play.
The Tigers are an interesting thought ahead of this match; they have been inconsistent this season and find themselves as outsiders. If there was ever a time to meet the competition leaders, this would be it. They have just the one player away on Origin duty and will aim to build on a confidence-building victory last week. Just how capable this team is remains unclear. They do have some positives though; they are 3rd for set completion (79.5%), 9th for errors (10.5 per game) and 10th for missed tackles (27.9 per game).
While they pride themselves on performing well, this Panthers team is a different side. It is worth noting that in the same areas the Panthers are 4th for completions (79.3%) 10th for errors (10.4 per game) and 16th for missed tackles (23.5 per game). The shift of Burton to the halves is perhaps the most exciting prospect too. Stability should remain within this team and while not as dominant as they could be, the Panthers should account for the Tigers by more than a converted try.