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NRL: Panthers set for tough Sharks test

There are three exciting games to look forward to in the NRL on Saturday with the Penrith Panthers taking on the Cronulla Sharks, while the Rabbitohs play the Storm and the Raiders entertain the Warriors.

The Panthers have lost just the one game all season but will face a real test when they take on a Sharks side that have won their last five games and sit third on the ladder.

There is another huge game when the South Sydney Rabbitohs look to continue their strong run of form against a Melbourne Storm side that are sliding down the ladder at an alarming rate.

Meanwhile the Raiders are in 11th spot, just two points outside of the eight and will see the game against the New Zealand Warriors as a must-win if they are to have a chance of playing finals.

Three games that are sure to excite so let’s take a closer look at each side as they prepare to lock horns on Saturday.

What: Canberra Raiders v New Zealand Warriors
Where: GIO Stadium, Canberra
When: 15:00 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Raiders 1/4, Warriors 3/1

The Raiders will take heart from their victory over the Melbourne Storm last week but the clash against the Warriors is a must-win if they are to force their way into the top eight.

Ricky Stuart’s side have a good-looking end to the season with games against the Titans, Knights and Tigers to come so they will fancy their chances of playing finals if they can get on a roll.

The Raiders cannot be too confident though as the Warriors have already beaten them this season when Shaun Johnson grabbed the golden point to get the job done.

There is usually nothing to separate these two sides and the last three games have been very tight affairs. Despite the Raiders being the hot fancies another close one could be on the cards.

Jordan Rapana is suspended for the Raiders so Nick Cotric will take his place on the wing, while captain Elliott Whitehead returns from a knee injury.

The Warriors are just one place below the Raiders but six points separate them. The Kiwi outfit have won just one game out of the last nine to slide out of finals contention.

In a surprise call, young fullback Reece Walsh has been dropped to the bench with Chanel Harris-Tevita taking the No.1 jersey this week.

What: Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharks
Where: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
When: 17:30 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Panthers 23/100, Sharks 16/5

A huge game at the top of the ladder as the Panthers look to build on their eight-point lead by picking up their ninth win on the bounce.

They edged out the Wests Tigers last week without their State of Origin stars but will welcome them all back for the clash against Cronulla.

The Panthers have won four of the last five meetings between the two sides, although it was the Sharks that came out on top last time when winning 19-18 in 2021.

All seven Origin players who were rested last week will return. It will be interesting to see how they respond from the disappointment of losing to Queensland.

The Sharks are buzzing after winning the last five games, including an impressive win over the high-flying Cowboys last week.

They have the chance to go second if they can beat the Panthers and the Cowboys slip up against the Tigers on Sunday.

The Sharks are boosted by the return of Siosifa Talakai and Briton Nikora.

What: South Sydney Rabbitohs v Melbourne Storm
Where: Accor Stadium, Sydney
When: 19:35 (AEST) Saturday 23rd July 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Rabbitohs 51/50, Storm 4/5

The Rabbitohs have set their sights on the top four and with Latrell Mitchell back fit and firing it would take a brave man to back against them achieving it.

South Sydney have won the last three games on the spin and look to be hitting form again at just the right time with their star forwards also stepping up to the plate.

Talking of which Cameron Murray will return after missing out with concussion last week, while playmaker Damien Cook is also back after being rested following State of Origin.

The Storm are on a nightmare run having lost the last three games. They have slipped to fourth on the ladder and there is work to do with finals fast approaching.

To make matters worse star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is out for the season with a knee injury, so Nick Meaney will switch from the wing to take the No.1 jersey.

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