The Raiders face another elimination game as they strive to stay alive in 2017.
Canberra are on a three-game winning streak and cannot afford to slip up any further if they want to make the finals. They head into this match sitting four points outside eighth spot.
The Raiders will go into the match off the back of an impressive 20-point win over the warriors in New Zealand last week.
Penrith’s resurgence as a premiership contender in the back half of the season continued last week when they overcame a stubborn North Queensland Cowboys outfit, 24-16. That was their sixth straight win.
GREEN MACHINE FIRING
Ricky Stuart’s men have left their run late but they have every side in the competition looking over their shoulder.
Canberra will be going for four straight wins for the first time this season and a big part of their recent uplift in form has been their attack. Always considered one of the better teams when it comes to scoring points, the Raiders were spluttering along for most of 2017 but the past three matches have seen them score 30 points or more.
What’s even more impressive about their winning run is that all three of those wins were on the road. Heading back to Canberra, where traditionally they are very hard to beat, the advantage is definitely with them heading into this encounter.
Penrith are going for seven straight wins for the first time in 12 years.
Led by young Nathan Cleary, Penrith has overturned a 2-7 start to the season to now sit in sixth spot on the table.
An important fact for punters to know about Penrith’s recent outstanding form is that five of their six wins have been at Pepper Stadium, with the sole away win during this time being at Mt Smart Stadium.
As the away side the Panthers have won just four of 10 this season.
This will get CANBERRA fans excited.
The Raiders have won four of the past six matches played between the sides even though Penrith has won two of the past three. Those two wins were both in Bathurst with the most recent of those in Round 14 this year.
On that occasion it was a piece of Matty Moylan brilliance which separated the sides with the Panthers scoring two tries in the final minute of play to seal the win, 24-20.
CANBERRA have everything to play for and cannot afford to slip up.
The $1.56 @ Centrebet looks good value for a side we think are one of the better bets of the weekend. That may seem like a silly thing to say considering they are playing a Panthers outfit that has won six straight, however, with the match being played at GIO Stadium we think that is worth at least six to 12 points in favour of the home side.
Penrith has been winning but they haven’t been ultra impressive during that run and the fact that five of their recent wins have been at home is a big concern now that they find themselves on a trip down the highway.
One of the other bets we like is the Total Points Over/Under with the Over 43.5 ($1.93 @ Sportsbet) appealing. It’s Sunday afternoon footy, the weather will be fine and both these sides like to throw the football around so we can see some big points scored here.
CANBERRA 1-12 WINNING MARGIN