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News Panthers NRL & NSW Cup Minor Premiership hopes in peril (Luai and Cleary).

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With Luai gone for about 6 weeks with a knee injury, and Cleary charged with a Grade 3 Dangerous Throw (5 weeks early plea), that puts Luai out till Week 2 of the finals, and Cleary out until the finals.

Burton is gone so they have now have to rely on O'Sullivan and Salmon as their halves pairing (as Kurt Falls is out with a leg injury as well).

Unless they decide to put Crichton at fullback and Edwards into the halves?

Currently on 36 points with Cowboys in 2nd on 28 points.

Cowboys have 6 games left (Dragons, Bulldogs, Roosters, Warriors, Rabbitohs, Panthers).
Panthers have 5 games left (Raiders, Storm, Rabbitohs, Warriors, Cowboys).

Cowboys winning ALL games has them finish on 40 points, meaning that Panthers need to win 3 of their last 5 games to definitely secure the minor premiership (or 2 and hope they don't get flogged and Cowboys don't win big as points difference will decide it).
Warriors you'd assume they beat, Raiders fighting for a Top 8 spot, Cowboys and Storm fighting for minor premiership, and Rabbitohs fighting for Top 4. MASSIVE task for Panthers.

In addition to this the flow on impact to Panthers NSW Cup team who are currently sitting top of the comp by a single point over the Jets, and 4 points over Bulldogs.

Panthers and Jets both have a pretty easy run to end of season, meanwhile Bulldogs have to play like 3 top sides.
 

Howard Moon

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Well, they were planning on resting players ;)

You'd back them to win at least two of those games, Shaun O'Sullivan is a handy backup and they've still got quality across the park. 112 points in the positive ahead of Cowboys is a handy buffer (that's insane).

I was wondering if they'd put Api in the halves and play Kenny at 9.

The Bulldogs cup team has 2018 vibes about it, in that they've dropped a few games against top teams but might go on a hot run in the finals.
 
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State of play after Panthers drop a game 16-0 to Storm. First time in 7 years that Panthers have been held to nil in a game!

PANTHERS:
38 Points and 298 points difference.
Round 23 - Rabbitohs
Round 24 - Warriors
Round 25 - Cowboys

COWBOYS:
32 Points and 222 points difference.
Round 22 - Roosters
Round 23 - Warriors
Round 24 - Rabbitohs
Round 25 - Panthers

Cowboys need to win every game still. With Paul Green passing, they just got an extra incentive to win this year.
Panthers need to win one more (but lost Martin tonight as well as Edwards a late scratching.

How good would it be if Panthers dropped both Warriors and Rabbitohs games, and Cowboys won in Rounds 22/23/24. That would setup a Panthers vs Cowboys Minor Premiership game with both on 38 points going into it.

In NSW Cup Jets have now leapfrogged Panthers for Minor Premiership and sit on top of ladder.
 

Howard Moon

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You'd think Penrith will be good for at least another win with JFH and Edwards back in the squad. And to be honest, even with that team tonight they probably beat the Warriors.

Lucky for them the worst they can do is second, which still secures them a home semi.
 
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