Panthers v Wests Tigers: Cleary returns; Fonua dropped

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willow
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Panthers v Wests Tigers: Cleary returns; Fonua dropped

Post by willow » Tue 15 May, 2018 4:19 pm

Panthers v Wests Tigers: Cleary returns; Fonua dropped

AuthorNRL.com Timestamp Tue 15 May 2018, 04:01 PM

Just when the doubters started dismissing them as pretenders, the Wests Tigers shut a few mouths with last week's 20-12 dispatching of a desperate but still out-of-sorts Cowboys side at a chilly Leichardt Oval.

Not only did they halt a three-match losing skid, the Tigers delivered exactly the kind of committed and spirited performance that should reinforce their belief in each other and coach Ivan Cleary's system.

They will be in enemy territory this week, but the Tigers will want to ensure former Penrith coach Cleary's 'homecoming' is one to savour.

The Panthers bounced back from a round nine home loss to the Cowboys with last week's road win over Newcastle, but they had to earn it every step of the way.

It will probably be a similarly tight tooth and nail battle against the never-say-die Tigers.

Key match-up: All eyes will be on Panthers young gun Nathan Cleary in his comeback from a knee injury layoff. Cleary's return will mean a centre shift for Tyrone Peachey, who has been one of Penrith's best players this season. Cleary and James Maloney are up against Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall, and everyone will be wanting to see if Cleary works his way back slowly or comes out and has the type of game that brings a smile to the face of NSW coach Brad Fittler.

For the Panthers to win: They avoided their customary slow start last week and went on to claim an important road win over a dangerous Newcastle. The Panthers have to come out with the same purpose and readiness on Thursday or they'll be forced to play catch-up with one of the best starting teams in the business.

For the Tigers to win: The Tigers need to play with patience and precision, but they need to do so in an up-tempo manner to try to keep the Panthers guessing in defence and possibly wear them out. Big forwards like Russell Packer will take any opportunity to run at Cleary and test his knee, while the speedy Brooks will be keen to see if Cleary's lateral movement is up to scratch.

Panthers stat attack: Trent Merrin was an inspiration for Penrith in last week's road win over the Knights, running for a team-leading 165 metres. It was only the previous week Merrin suffered a compound dislocation of his finger. James Fisher-Harris led the Panthers with 38 tackles.

Tigers stat attack: Centre Mahe Fonua was a hit with Tigers fans in last week's defeat of the Cowboys at Leichardt Oval, running for an impressive 230 metres but it hasn't been enough to keep him in the team after he was late to a training session during the week. The Tigers missed 48 tackles to the Cowboys' 29 in the 20-12 victory.

And another thing: He misses tackles more than any other NRL player (daylight is second) and is known to give away a penalty or two, but James Maloney is still one of the NRL's best clutch players. The veteran play-maker has been a rock for the injury-riddled Panthers and no-one could ever question his physical and mental toughness, especially under pressure. A close-up camera angle of a slightly bloodied Maloney lining up a conversion – wit one eye swollen half-closed – against the Knights was a neat snapshot of the two-time grand final-winner's career.

Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers, Thursday 7.50pm at Panthers Stadium

Panthers: 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Tyrone Peachey, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Tyrone Phillips, 6 James Maloney (c), 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Sione Katoa, 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Corey Harawira-Naera, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 James Fisher-Harris

Interchange: 14 Wayde Egan, 15 Jack Hetherington, 16 Viliame Kikau, 17 James Tamou

Reserves: 18 Jarome Luai, 19 Kaide Ellis, 20 Tyrone May, 21 Nick Lui-Toso

Nathan Cleary's long-awaited return in the halves pushes Tyrone Peachey to centre, Isaah Yeo to back row and Viliame Kikau to the bench. Hooker Peter Wallace is out injured with Sione Katoa to start. Wayde Egan and Jack Hetherington (suspension) rejoin the bench with Kaide Ellis and Jarome Luai dropping out.

Tigers: 1 Corey Thompson, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Benji Marshall, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer (c), 9 Elijah Taylor, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Matthew Eisenhuth



Interchange: 14 Alex Twal, 15 Jacob Liddle, 16 Michael Chee-Kam, 17 Sauaso Sue

Reserves: 18 Tim Grant, 19 Chris McQueen, 20 Josh Aloiai, 21 Tyson Gamble

Centre Mahe Fonua has been dropped despite a man-of-the-match effort last week to accommodate Kevin Naiqama's return.

Head-to-head: Played 31; Panthers 19 wins, Wests Tigers 12 wins
Matches at venue: Played 15; Panthers 10 wins, Wests Tigers 5 wins
2017 results: Panthers won 36-2 at Campbelltown Stadium in round 2 and 28-14 at Panthers Stadium in round 22
Points per game: Panthers 23.3; Wests Tigers 17.2
Points conceded per game: Panthers 16.4; Wests Tigers 15.1
Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League

Steve Turner's prediction: Penrith welcome back Nathan Cleary from injury and the inclusion of the number seven will only strengthen the second-place Panthers who once again showed last weekend that they're a premiership contender. The Wests Tigers bounced back after three losses in a row with an impressive win over the Cowboys at Leichardt, but it will be a tough trip to the foot of the mountains for Ivan Cleary's men.
Tip: Panthers by 8


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Post by joelw2002 » Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm

Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
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Post by Seantice » Tue 15 May, 2018 4:57 pm

joelw2002 wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm
Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
Love it... Sticking to the expectations.

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Post by tigermac88 » Tue 15 May, 2018 5:34 pm

joelw2002 wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm
Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
Apparently he was an hour late

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Post by BrissieTiger67 » Tue 15 May, 2018 5:51 pm

Cleary was pretty candid about fonua in the post match , "you take the good and the bad" type of talk. Maybe Fonua is making a bit of a habit of it...

Or Kevie let the air out of tyres on his way to session 😂


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Post by Tigerdon » Tue 15 May, 2018 5:51 pm

joelw2002 wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm
Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
Our other gun centre got punted from the Club for repeatable being late
Ivan "Billy Beane from Moneyball" Cleary!
It's the Ivan of the tiger, It's the thrill of the fight...

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Post by Geo. » Tue 15 May, 2018 6:23 pm

joelw2002 wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm
Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
The St Helen's talk is just that of a player coming off a contract Year...

Kevvy was a done deal at Warrington this time last year.... :lol:
Ivan's Laws

1. You are either on the Bus or you are off..
2. The Star of the Team is the Team
3. Be the player your teammates want to play with..
Tiger Watto wrote:
Fri 03 Nov, 2017 8:07 am
Geo nailed it...

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Post by TIGERPOWER » Tue 15 May, 2018 7:43 pm

Disappointing but you can’t have 2 standards. Maybe Fonau was too busy reading his own headlines. Harsh, but hopefully lesson learnt.

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Post by Russell » Tue 15 May, 2018 8:27 pm

joelw2002 wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 4:30 pm
Wow, Ivan dropped Fonua our best centre for turning up to training a little late. For Naiqama, who wants a release to St Helens?
Does he want a release to go to St. Helens.

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Post by AfricanAnimal » Tue 15 May, 2018 9:32 pm

I didn't believe this at first. Strict stuff...

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Post by TYGA » Tue 15 May, 2018 9:44 pm

I applaud the club for taking a tough stance on discipline. It’s not the approach I take with my staff though as penalising a player by missing games ultimately penalises the team. More prudent measure would have been to flog him at training with Ronny Palmer until midnight. That is unless he has form in this area.

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Post by weststigers » Wed 16 May, 2018 3:31 am

disappointed in Fonua for slipping up like that - we need him out there, but he let himself and the team down.

At least everyone knows where they stand if their professionalism isn't up to scratch.

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Post by innsaneink » Wed 16 May, 2018 6:51 am

TYGA wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 9:44 pm
I applaud the club for taking a tough stance on discipline. It’s not the approach I take with my staff though as penalising a player by missing games ultimately penalises the team. More prudent measure would have been to flog him at training with Ronny Palmer until midnight. That is unless he has form in this area.
This is why it's likely to be effective... He will be shamed, he let his team mates down.
On the bus for the good, on it for the bad, one in all in.. All the other players will see this and know where they stand

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Post by TCL » Wed 16 May, 2018 6:58 am

Nothing will resonate with a player more than being dropped from the team. You can flog him at training all you like but it won't send the same message.

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Post by colmcd » Wed 16 May, 2018 8:22 am

innsaneink wrote:
Wed 16 May, 2018 6:51 am
TYGA wrote:
Tue 15 May, 2018 9:44 pm
I applaud the club for taking a tough stance on discipline. It’s not the approach I take with my staff though as penalising a player by missing games ultimately penalises the team. More prudent measure would have been to flog him at training with Ronny Palmer until midnight. That is unless he has form in this area.
This is why it's likely to be effective... He will be shamed, he let his team mates down.
On the bus for the good, on it for the bad, one in all in.. All the other players will see this and know where they stand
Bingo.
We saw how some premadonna's with awesome talents ruin teams. Parramatta had a case of this at the start of the season. What Cleary has done is set the big 17 standard. Fonua appears to be a gun, but if he takes a team first attitude, then he will be an awesome gun. We may loose the Panthers game, but we get Fonua in the Big 17.

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Post by NT Tiger » Wed 16 May, 2018 8:29 am

Or not. The ball's in his court.
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Post by Spacecub » Wed 16 May, 2018 6:31 pm

Your a goose cleary....we finally get a back that can blow a defense to shreads....and hes dropped for being an hour late....he,s kidding
Hope penrith make us pay

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Post by Geo. » Wed 16 May, 2018 6:38 pm

Spacecub wrote:
Wed 16 May, 2018 6:31 pm
Your a goose cleary....we finally get a back that can blow a defense to shreads....and hes dropped for being an hour late....he,s kidding
Hope penrith make us pay
*You're
Ivan's Laws

1. You are either on the Bus or you are off..
2. The Star of the Team is the Team
3. Be the player your teammates want to play with..
Tiger Watto wrote:
Fri 03 Nov, 2017 8:07 am
Geo nailed it...

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