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NRL: Cleary absence unlikely to derail Panthers

Penrith Panthers will be missing Nathan Cleary and New Zealand Warriors will have to do without Shaun Johnson when the two sides clash in Magic Round.

The Panthers have coped well without Cleary when he has been missing from the side and they are sitting pretty in second place on the NRL ladder.

Ivan Cleary’s side are 3.25 to win their fourth straight grand final and they have the bit between their teeth once again.

The Warriors have failed to live up to expectations so far and the loss of playmaker Johnson will make things even harder.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are going great guns this season following six wins from nine games and need to keep the good times rolling against Wests Tigers.

The Redcliffe outfit can be backed at 13.00 to reach the grand final in just their second NRL campaign.

Johnson blow for Warriors

. What: New Zealand Warriors v Penrith Panthers
. Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
. When: 14:50, Sunday 19th May 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: New Zealand Warriors 4.60, Penrith Panthers 1.19

The Warriors have been hit by the news that influential playmaker Johnson is facing a spell on the sidelines due to a pectoral injury.

It could not come at a worse time as they sit 14th on the ladder and without a win in the last five games.

They have also lost their last three Magic Round encounters and it will take something special to overcome Penrith.

Penrith have shown they can cope without Cleary when winning three times without him this season.

They have the players to step up and can be backed at 1.80 to win by 13+ points on Sunday.

Brian To’o also has a good record against the Warriors, scoring seven tries in the last five games against them.

The winger can be backed at 6.50 to score the first try of the game.

Hammer back to boost Dolphins

. What: Wests Tigers v Dolphins
. Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
. When: 19:25, Sunday 19th May 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: Wests Tigers 3.85, Dolphins 1.27

The Dolphins are flying high in the NRL and are set for an added boost with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in line to return.

The Hammer is back following a hamstring injury and can be backed at 2.10 to mark his return by grabbing a try at anytime in the game.

Jack Bostock has also scored seven tries in the last seven games and is priced at 7.00 to score the first of the game.

The Dolphins have won the last four games on the bounce and should make it five against a Tigers side that have lost the last six on the bounce.

However, the Tigers have won three from four Magic Round games, and have shown they are capable of causing an upset in the past.

They can be backed at 9.00 to spring another and beat the Dolphins by 1-5 points.

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