NRL Week 2 Semi Finals – Match 2 Preview: Sydney Roosters v Penrith Panthers

In the second supercharged semi of the NRL finals, the rising Roosters will get ready to take flight and fight off the big cats when they play the Panthers at Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Last week the SFS proved a winning ground for Sydney as they fought back from a first half deficit to push the game against the Tigers into golden point extra time and claim an upset win.

Now they are back again this week and are looking a force to be reckoned with as they attempt to become the first team to turn from Wooden Spooners to Premiership winners in 12 months since the Western Suburbs Magpies back in 1933 – 1934.

Penrith weren’t as lucky last week when a two point loss to the in-form Raiders stopped the number two team on the ladder from getting a free pass into the third week of the finals.

Now they must do battle for the right to play the Titans next week.

But in a blow for the mountain men they have lost two of their powerhouse players with Trent Waterhouse (pectoral tear) and Frank Pritchard (hamstring) both ruled out, but can the return of skipper Petero Civoniceva spark a comeback?

Also despite not being named in the line up don’t be surprised if star fullback Lachlan Coote makes an appearance too.

It is easy to see why the Roosters are the hot favourites to win, currently paying $1.52 at Sportsbet, while Penrith will start the underdogs quoted at $2.60.

However, there are plenty of punters out there tipping an upset, so go with your gut – ours says Roosters but after an intense 100 minutes of footy last week they will have to dig deep and break through the physical pain – adrenaline is very good for that!

Expect plenty of dummy half runs from the Roosters as they try to wear down the Panthers around the ruck and after displaying a dedicated devotion to never giving up and coming back from half time deficits, the Chooks have proved again and again that they are very hard to kill off.

Dally M medallist Todd Carney has what it takes to spark something out of nothing, Captain of the Year Braith Anasta is cool under pressure as he displayed with his final second field goal last week while Kenny-Dowall is a top tryscorer and together this trio will push the Chooks to victory.

Footy Tip of the Match – Shaun Kenny-Dowall to be the Last Tryscorer at $10 through Ladbrokes.com.au

Current Head-to-Head Odds:

Roosters $1.52 – Panthers $2.60 Ladbrokes.com.au

NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:

Shaun Kenny-Dowall loves to score anytime but he is getting better and better at finishing things off with a final four-pointer like the match winner he made last week, that’s why we have our money on Kenny-Dowall to be the Last Tryscorer at $10 through Sportsbet.

Finals Week 2 Roosters Team:

1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Phil Graham 3. Kane Linnett 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Todd Carney 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jason Ryles 9. Jake Friend 10. Frank Paul Nuuausala 11. Braith Anasta 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Nate Myles

Bench: 14. Martin Kennedy 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 16. Daniel Conn 17. Joseph Leilua

Reserves: 18. James Aubusson 19. Lopini Paea 20. Mose Masoe

Finals Week 2 Panthers Team:

1. Michael Gordon 2. Sandor Earl 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Tighe 5. Adrian Purtell 6. Travis Burns 7. Luke Walsh 8. Sam McKendry 9. Kevin Kingston 10. Petero Civoniceva 11. Nathan Smith 12. Gavin Cooper 13. Luke Lewis

Bench: 15. Matthew Bell 16. Tim Grant 17. Frank Puletua 20. Wade Graham

Reserves: 18. Masada Iosefa 14. Daine Laurie