[2021] R22 Dragons v Panthers - Game Day Thread


Nathan Cleary is still a 50/50 prospect for tonight. Not sure it will be confirm until an hour before kickoff. Judging by the video, if he plays it will most likely be off the bench and in limited game time.

Cleary to start & thus a reshuffle


Nathan Cleary will play. Matt Burton moved back to the centres and Stephen Crichton to the wing.

Taylan May to back to 18th Man.

We haven’t been at our best, but we have taken our opportunities. Hopefully all the defence we had to do early hasn’t taken too much petrol out of the tank.

Good in patches, should improve as more troops come back.

I was impressed with our bench forwards tonight, especially Hopgood.


:mega: Panther Pride Man of the Match voting is now open here.

  • How was the tackle by NC on their kicker penalised, when the, arguably, worse tackle on him when he was kicking ignored?
  • Is Charlie Staines injured, or is he paying the price for having no impact running the ball back? Does he need more bulk?

Staines is invisible outside Momirovski apparently !!! :wink:

Momo is a good solid defensive centre, but his passing is so seldom, his winger grows cobwebs.

That said, Critta seemed to have a down game, maybe the sooks at playing wing?

Naden showed why we are letting him go. Great at attack for sure, reasonable in defense, but absolutely error prone.

A great effort from our spine + Burto. One of Edwards best games and glad he’s coming into form at the right end of the season.

We didn’t miss Capewell at all, he really hasn’t offered much since SOO.

I really like our bench at the moment with Soronson, Hopgood and Tago. I do wonder how we would go with Tago in the centres instead of Momo, with Critta on the wing. That would allow Eisenhuth to come into the bench when Fish returns and still leave a spot for Kenny, who I thought had a great game.

The second half was pretty good, I reckon Souths are in for a shock next week


I like Sorenaen, Hopgood & Tago as well, my only problem is that they’re all small (for an Nrl forward.) Tago is 93 kg, Hopgood & Sorensen are 102 & 100 kg. I don’t think you can carry 3 small players on the bench, need more size & variation in body type.

Of course, when we get to full strength, at least 2 of those 3 will drop back to reggies.

I was wrong about Cleary, I thought he’d only come on for 15 or 20 mins. Great to see he lasted 75 mins & got through it well.

Not a great psrformance, but we’ve cemented a top 4 spot now, and being on the road means there’s no advantage to finishing 1st or 2nd. So, we’ve got 3 weeks to experiment before the finals & work out how to beat the Storm.

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What about a spot for Leniu?

Don’t you get more bites at the cherry if you finish 1st or 2nd and lose the first week of playoffs?

My understanding is 1 that none of the top 4 can be knocked out in the first week. 1 plays 3 & 2 plays 4. Winners get a week off. Losers get to play the winners of the elimination semis that bottom 4 teams play. From then on, it’s knockout.

So, the first 4 get the luxury of surviving a loss in the first week. The advantage of finishing 1st or 2nd is a home semi final (in theory.) But that doesn’t apply this year, cos all the top 4 sides will be away from home.

Correct. All top 4 teams get a second shot if necessary. 1 & 2 normally have a home game advantage, but for Sydney teams that is not likely this year. While winning the minor premiership would be nice, 2 or 3 is more likely. This year it probably doesn’t make too much difference between 2 & 3. But a winning streak going into finals would boost confidence.

Let’s see if MRC are consistent? Souths should be without Mitchell next week from his kicking from the tackle & making contact with head is punished in line with Critter missing a week from the Munster incident

In the first week of the finals 1v4 and 2v3.

No home ground advantage this year.

Unless Melbourne falter, we will play Souths first week

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Given that Melbourne play Titans, Eels & Sharks, it’s unlikely that they will lose 2 or more games from here to allow us (or Souths) to overtake them.

Guess they didn’t see it?? No charge!

I guess they have selective vision.

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I think the team thought that with Nathan being back, we would just run on & everything would be just like it was pre-Origin. If only it was that easy. Too many errors put paid to that, but gave as some defense practice, although it was pretty easy do defend the hapless dragons.

We had this game, and now the final three to get our game back to what we are capable of, which if we can do that will give us a good shot at the title. In the end it will require us to win 2 games in the finals to make the GF. At our best we are more than capable of doing that.

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