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NRL: Penrith eyeing response

After defeat to the Parramatta Eels last time out, Ian Cleary’s Penrith Panthers will be determined to bounce back as they prepare to face the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday.

At the time of writing, Penrith are still in with a chance of winning the minor premiership but they will have needed the Brisbane Broncos to lose to the Melbourne Storm before kick-off in this encounter against the Cowboys.

WhatPenrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys
WhereBlueBet Stadium, Penrith
When17:30 (AEST) Saturday 2nd September, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsPenrith Panthers 1.31, North Queensland Cowboys 3.50

Penrith welcome back big guns

With a number of key players rested in Round 26, Cleary is calling in the cavalry for this one on Saturday.

Dylan Edwards, Sunia Turuva, Mitch Kenny and Scott Sorensen are all back after missing the defeat at the hands of the Eels.

Penrith will know if they still have a chance to win the J.J Giltinan Shield for a second-straight year before kick-off, depending on what has happened between the Broncos and the Storm.

The Panthers are the expected favourites to come out on top in this one on home soil, with the reigning NRL champions at 1.31 to claim the victory.

Cowboys clinging to finals hope

No longer with their destiny in their own hands, all the Cowboys can do is try to cause an upset in Penrith this weekend and hope for other results to fall their way.

The Cowboys need a win over the Panthers and hope the South Sydney Rabbitohs lose out to their rivals the Sydney Roosters.

A Rabbitohs win might not be the end of the world though, if the Canberra Raiders lose their encounter against the Cronulla Sharks.

Such has been the competitive nature of the league this season, there are plenty of permutations going into this final round of the regular season.

As for team news, head coach Todd Payten has gone with the same 17 that managed to secure victory against the Dolphins last time out.

Rookie Zac Laybutt has deservedly kept his starting role in the centres, after an impressive display that saw him score two tries in just his third game in the NRL.

Laybutt is available at 3.70 to score Anytime against the Panthers and add to his try tally in this fledgling stage of his NRL career.  

The Cowboys are certainly the underdogs going into this one against the title holders but are available at 3.50 to cause an upset and win in Penrith on Saturday. 

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