Watch Penrith Panthers vs Canberra Raiders Live Stream - Friday 09 April 11:55

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Friday 09 April 11:55

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NRL ROUND 5

PENRITH PANTHERS VS CANBERRA RAIDERS

FRIDAY APRIL 9, 7.55 PM, BLUEBET STADIUM, PENRITH

A highlight of round 5 is unquestionably the Raiders making the hike up the Hume highway to face the might of Penrith, in their newly named Bluebet Stadium, venue that is a terrifying trip for most teams.  Canberra bounced back to form last weekend by defeating a classy Titans outfit, 20-4, showing their capabilities, especially in defence, while relishing having stars such as Nicoll-Klokstad at the back.  Penrith showed their defensive prowess by keeping a team scoreless in 3 of their first 4 games, as only Melbourne have managed to cross their line, in an incredible show of attitude, after they fell at the final hurdle in 2020.  Ideal conditions await in Penrith as temperatures around 19 will dip a little during the game, where no rain or much wind will inhibit a tense atmosphere, and an expected large crowd.

Coach Cleary has the luxury of keeping the playing 17-man squad the same as the game last week against Manly, as the club strives to go 5-0 for the first time in their history.  Key players to watch for the defending minor premiers are of course Cleary and Luai in the halves, as well as Kikau the giant edge-forward and Stephen Crichton in his new role at the back.  Canberra are boosted by the return of improved lock, Joseph Tapine, forcing a reshuffle to the forwards, and Lui dropping out of the side, as James moves to the bench in favour of Papali’i and Sutton.  At this stage Kris has forced his way into the starting side after a strong start to his season, while others in electric form are Englishmen, Whitehead and George Williams.

Penrith had an explosive start to the round 13, 2020 match between these sides, as they ran in 4 first half tries, leaving Canberra stunned 24-0 at halftime, thanks to the likes of Kikau and Liam Martin.  The two 2019 clashes were quite similar scores, when Canberra were in better form, as they won 30-18 and 30-12, though the light clicked on for Penrith in 2020 and they are deserved favourites to win the competition this year.  Penrith are $1.40 favourites to win this game, with a handicap mark of -7.5 for margin betting markets, while the Green team is $3, but every chance of spoiling the party of Pink that Penrith have planned.

PREDICITON: Penrith by a small margin, Canberra are proven quality defenders, and it will take a lot to break them down.

BETTING TIP: $2.40 for Penrith to win by 1-12 makes most sense.

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