Matt Adamson expects the Panthers to find their growl when they take on the Warriors in Monday Night NRL.
After a convincing win in round 12 over the reigning premiers, the mountain men will be looking to build on this newly-acquired momentum, but with three of their biggest stars unavailable due to Origin duties, I think this assignment will be a little too tough for Ivan Cleary's men.
Cleary, in my opinion, has made the single two best coaching moves this season. Initially it was to sack former rookie of the year, Michael Jennings and then to take the captaincy off Luke Lewis. It has appeared to give the squad a new lease on life and culminated in a convincing victory in their last outing over Manly.
Cleary is in control and that is what's required at this historically dysfunctional club. This way if he goes down, at least it's on his terms and not the board's.
The Warriors, on the other hand, have been seriously disappointing, but with none of their stars required for State of Origin duties they should see this period of the season as a terrific opportunity to regain some much-needed momentum for the back half of the season.
On paper they appear as strong as any, and as I said earlier this year, the pairing of Maloney and Johnson is one of the strongest in the game. I have the feeling this could ultimately be the difference between these two sides.
This game will come down to who can hold possession of the ball for longer and I see this playing right into the Warriors' hands.
The Warriors will start favourites and I see them as a safe bet @Betfair odds of (1.47).
Grab the cash
These games are easy cash this week.
Expect the Tigers to be easy winners over the Storm, who are without the likes of Slater and Smith.
The Titans, who appear to have finally found some much needed belief, will climb further up the ladder by beating the Sharks who are without Carney and Gallon.
The Raiders have been in camp all week in Newcastle, and I believe after a 40-point thrashing everyone in green has too much pride not to bounce back, so look for a little value bet here.
A side note
I'm sorry, but if there is one thing I can't stand about our great game is the lack of honesty.
Can someone please tell me why David Gallop didn't just come out yesterday in his press conference and say the following: "please let it be known that for the last 4 months both John Chalk, myself and the NRL commission have done everything possible to build a working relationship, but we have found that this is just not possible and I have decided that under these circumstances I cannot fulfil my role to the best of my ability. Thank you for your time and I look forward to a well-earned rest".
David, there aren't too many people who could have worked under the conditions you have endured over the last decade.
Not always polished but you gave it your all.
Well done mate and hold your head high.