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NRL: Roosters in need of boost against Panthers

Penrith Panthers and Sydney Roosters will go head-to-head in a massive clash on Friday night and the visitors are in desperate need of a result.

Canterbury Bulldogs and New Zealand Warriors also play on Friday, but it is the game between the Panthers and Roosters that will catch most attention.

These two sides were the hot fancies for the premiership heading into the 2023 season, but it has been a disappointing start by their exceptionally high standards.

They have both started 5-4 for the season and there is work to do if they are to challenge for the minor premiership and then go on to star in finals - with Sydney 7.00 to win the Grand Final.

Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs have looked a lot better than the Panthers and Roosters so far, which will set alarm bells sounding in both camps.

For one of them things will get a little worse on Friday night. Neither can really afford to lose so that means we should be in for a fierce battle at BlueBet Stadium. It has all the ingredients for a classic.

WhatPenrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters
WhereBlueBet Stadium, Sydney
When20:00 (AEST), Friday 12th May 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsPenrith Panthers 1.45, Sydney Roosters 2.75

Panthers attack struggling to fire

Penrith picked up a crucial 18-6 victory over New Zealand Warriors last week which snapped a two-game losing streak.

The reigning premiers had slipped to defeats against South Sydney Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers to cast further doubts on their chances of completing the three-peat this season.

Defence has not been an issue for the Panthers this season, they have been tighter than ever, however their attack has not been at its usual standards.

That is something they need to improve on as the season progresses and there is still plenty of time for them to peak.

Despite suffering four defeats each, both the Panthers and Roosters remain firmly in the mix, with Penrith 4.25 to win the Grand Final.

The Broncos on 16 points and Souths on 14, are the stand-out teams at the moment, then there are seven teams on 12, including Penrith and Sydney.

Victory for either side could see them jump up a good few places, so there is plenty on the line.

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Roosters need to bounce back

While Penrith head into the game with a win under their belt, the same cannot be said of the Roosters, who were very poor against the Cowboys at the weekend.

They slipped to a 20-6 defeat and only a very late try prevented them from being kept to nil.

Again, scoring points has been an issue for the Roosters so far this season - indeed only Wests Tigers have scored fewer points than the Bondi outfit.

That comes as a big surprise when you consider they have the likes of James Tedesco and Joseph Suaalii in their ranks.

Those players will need to step up if the Roosters are to have any chance of getting a positive result at BlueBet Stadium. Suaalii is priced at 3.40 to score anytime.

The Roosters have not beaten the Panthers since back in 2019 and this could be one of their better chances of getting the win as Penrith have been up and down.

Same again for Panthers

Penrith have no fresh injury or suspension worries and will go with the same 17 that beat the Warriors.

The Roosters will be forced into at least one change as Egan Butcher suffered a concussion against the Warriors and is set for 11 days on the sidelines.

Angus Crichton will move into the starting side to replace him.

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