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2021 NRL Round 3: Panthers vs Storm Preview & Betting Tips

March 25th 2021, 6:10pm, By: Greg Davis

NRL Panthers vs Storm Betting Tips

It was a dominant performance by our team of NRL experts last week, hitting on 7/8 betting tips and finishing Round 2 a monster 7.5 units in profit! Round 3 of the NRL season kicks off on Thursday night with a massive clash between the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm. Greg Davis is back on deck to preview the game and give his betting tips below. 

Greg is a sports writer with over 25 years experience covering NRL, State of Origin, AFL, Super Rugby and more for a variety of news and media outlets. Follow Greg on Twitter at @GregDavis006.

NRL Round 3 Panthers vs Storm Betting Tips

Penrith Stadium, Thursday 25th March 8.05pm (AEDT)

Squads

Penrith

1.Dylan Edwards 2.Charlie Staines 3.Paul Momirovski 4. Stephen Crichton 5.Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11.Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Matthew Eisenhuth 17. Liam Martin 18.Scott Sorensen 19. Matt Burton 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Jaeman Salmon

Melbourne

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr  6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11.Tom Eisenhuth 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Interchange:14. Aaron Pene 15.Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17.Nicho Haynes 18. Cooper Johns 19. Darryn Schonig 20.Tyson Smoothy 21. Dean Ieremia

Match Preview

ROCKY had the “Eye of the Tiger”.

But the “Eye of the Panther” is threatening to knockout all comers in the NRL in 2021.

Penrith have started their season with a relentlessness and intensity that suggests the Panthers will be purring into consecutive grand final appearances.

Penrith will host Melbourne in a grand final re-match this Thursday night and the Panthers could not be taking better form into the clash at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

Sure, they have only beaten the bottom four-bound North Queensland and Canterbury.

But they have not given up a single point in doing so while piling on 52 points themselves across 160 minutes of first grade footy.

Defence is all about attitude and effort while the ability to dominate possession and field position highlights elite discipline and execution and the Panthers are clearly driven by an insatiable hunger to make amends for falling at the last hurdle in 2020.

Riding a 17-match winning streak into last year’s decider – which started with a clinical 21-14 win over the Storm in Round 6 - the Panthers produced their worst 40 minutes of football for the season as Melbourne raced to halftime with a 22-0 lead. 

The Storm withstood a furious Penrith comeback to take the title with a 26-20 victory but the damage was done.

The Panthers have now won 19 of their last 20 matches following the dismantling of the Cowboys and Bulldogs and face – by far – their biggest test of 2021. You get the impression they cannot wait.

The Storm will be smarting from their loss to Parramatta last Thursday when Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was left to lament a lack of poise in the dying minutes when the reality of life post-Cameron Smith bit hard.

Storm superstar Cameron Munster has vowed to step up his game to get Melbourne back on track, but they will have to do so with influential backrower Felise Kaufusi who will be sidelined for two weeks through suspension.

Melbourne were also dealt a major blow on Wednesday when star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen was withdrawn from the team with a neck injury. So much of what Melbourne do goes through their no.1. As promising as Nicho Haynes - his likely replacement - is, Papenhuyzen’s absence leaves a significant hole. 

Melbourne’s right-edge defence gave up another two tries after conceding three against the Rabbitohs in Round 1 so expect the Panthers to target centre Reimis Smith and winger George Jennings who have been found wanting both in the air and on the ground.

Penrith’s enviable depth in the playmaking stocks will ensure that the Panthers will barely skip a beat with Nathan Clearly not playing after copping a head knock last week. He passed his HIA and was named in the squad and was undergoing continued testing but Penrith have announced he will be rested. 

If any other side lost an Origin halfback, it could spell trouble, but Penrith would have the luxury of having Jarome Luai and Tyrone May in the halves with young gun Matt Burton waiting in the wings.

Hooker Mitch Kenny also proved to be a more than handy replacement for regular no.9 Api Koroisau who will miss six weeks with a broken wrist.

Some bookies have it as an even money contest while others have the Panthers as very slight favourites.

It will be a very wet track out at Penrith so there won’t be much in it at all by fulltime. The 1-12 points margin betting option is probably the go.

Melbourne have had an extra 48 hours to recover from Round 2 and you can never – EVER - write-off the Storm.

But Penrith are at home, full of confidence and have ominous momentum on both sides of the ball. Not to mention the “Eye of the Panther” as well.

Penrith 1-12

$3.10

Kurt Capewell Anytime Try

$6.00

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