Brian To’o and Viliame Kikau have been cleared from injury and will be in the starting side this weekend.
In a way, I think the pressure is off us this week and on $torm as almost everyone is writing us off.
I hope we play with a degree of freedom and enjoyment - to me the weight of expectation has been weighing us down in the last few months.
Now, my dream I had that last year we would win the GF, didn’t work out, but my dream was right in that we made the GF. Last night I dreamt we were playing the rabbits in the GF - didn’t see who won, but that would mean we must have beaten the $torm
Moses out! Crap!!!
Martin to start, so I guess we’ll get to see both Spencer & TMay
What the hell - why ?
Liam Martin moves into the starting side as prop Moses Leota is ruled out with a minor calf complaint.
Spenser Leinu moves onto the bench to replace injured Leota.
Brian To’o and Viliame Kikau remain in the 19-man squad, with Cleary indicating to the media on Friday that both players would be fit to play.
a fit Leota will be missed, taking nothing away from Liam Martin, but he’s not a prop.
Hey Kevin, your mate Spencer’s on the bench !
Pangai needs to step up here. Is he up to it ???
and … Kikau needs to pull his finger out now.
Omg! Moses out!?
Martin does great work, but Leota has been one of our most consistent all year.
It’s now hope rather than quietly confident
I remember when Moses was seen as a bench player last season. Now he is so crucial that everyone panics when he is out. I wish him a speedy recovery for the gf next week.
Minor complaint…could it be ducks and drakes, is that allowed?
Spencer can be massive if he just plays footy and not individuals.
Yes TPJ needs to have his best ever game.
No, no opportunity for last minute switch of Moses back in. We’ve left him out of squad
its sad for Leota but our outcome will not be determined by a single individual.
Our team needs to turn up as a team and i agree with a comment about us being underdogs and the only thing to prove is to prove to ourselves we deserve another crack in a GF.
This squad has all it needs to deliver a result in our favour…its now up to the ones who run onto the field to get the job done.
We may be going into this game as underdogs, but Bellyache & the Storm won’t take us lightly. They will be well aware that we are their biggest threat.
today’s the day. We’ve had a wonderful season so far. Let’s hope we play to our potential and the injury ‘gremlin’ has a day off.
Win or loose we have a lot to thank the team for over the last two seasons.
I must admit I was quietly confident prior to Leota pulling out, but as others have said one man does not make a team.
Hopefully we can contain the storm, and our halves and centres get their attack going.
I do hope if they target Clearys kicking game, we have a pre-planned plan B. For mine that’s Burton rather than Luai (who I do hope plays his natural confident running game).
I have a feeling Yeo will make or break this game.
I’ll be cheering on the boys from my living room as will most if not all on here. COVID is a pain, but glad I’m watching us in a prelim once again.
At least our spine is good to go!
I am reminded of 2004 where the 2 best teams met a week earlier than they should. It was clear that the dogs and us were the two best teams. We lost & I said at the time, that was the real GF, the dogs will win next week. I think this year is likely the same.
If we play our game, get close to even share of luck & the match officials allow the players to decide the game, I think we can win this. I’ll be nervous as hell - I hate not being at the big games, on TV it just seems more worrying.
C’mon boys… let’s get this!!!
I feel confident that we are going to do this. Go the MIGHTY Panthers!
Agreed, Mr Walker. Luck and ref decisions are always going to play a major part in the outcome - as we saw last night.
For all of 2020 and much of 2021, there was an aura around Penrith. Every other team was wondering ‘can anyone beat Penrith?’. You’d hope that the brains trust would have been giving deep thought about what we did then and how do we go there again. I suspect that it is a mental thing more than aspects like training and conditioning.
I’m strangely calm this morning. That may change between now & kickoff though. At least I have plenty of alcohol if it does change.
The Storm are beatable, but we are going to have to be close to our best to get the job done. Losing Leota to injury isn’t ideal, but we do have reasonable depth.
EDIT: To add to the fun, my Souths supporting brother has just arrived for the week. Could be interesting if we are playing each other next weekend. I’m sure he’ll try to take a few shots, but I’ve got plenty to fire back at him
It’ll be interesting to see if Kikau starts. He’s been off the bench the past few weeks, but with Martin named to start in place of Leota, that option of a Kikau/Martin swap isn’t avaiable.
If Cleary wanted to keep Kikau off the bench, other starting options are Pangai & Leniu. I have a lot of time for Leniu, he’s got a good motor and, if his headspace is right, I think he’d do well. Not sure if Pangai has the motor to start or not.
Either way, I hope Cleary pulls the right rein because the first 20 mins or so could well decide the game. In round 20, we were 18-0 down after 20 mins & in last year’s GF, 16-0 after 30. We really have to match the Storm in the first half hour. If we can do that, we’re in with a show.