NRL 2021 round 13 LIVE updates: Tigers v Panthers at Leichhardt Oval

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Welcome Matt for five-eighth

Can’t wait to see what this man can do with a chance in the halves tonight as Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai are sized up for sky blue…

Who are you tipping?

Only a few minutes until kick-off. Who are we all tipping?

I know the Panthers have so much depth on the production line out in the golden west, but I think the Tigers might sneak a minor upset tonight with Adam Doueihi to grab a try. Tigers by 4 for me.

Adam Doueihi has been among the Tigers’ best this year.Credit:Getty

Team news

Well, there is none.

Michael Maguire and Ivan Cleary have stuck with the same 17 they named earlier this week, but there is an interesting inclusion on the bench as 18th man with Brent Naden named in the spot for the Panthers. He hasn’t played an NRL game since the grand final, after which he tested positive to cocaine and served a one-month suspension in the off season.

That would be quite a return is he is activated as 18th man should a Panthers player be ruled out of the game following an act of foul play which results in a sin-bin.

Naden has agreed to join former Panthers assistant Trent Barrett at the Bulldogs in 2022.

Brent Naden has signed a two-year deal to join the Bulldogs.Credit:Getty

‘I’m in awe of them’

For all the talk about the Panthers potentially having their winning run coming to an end this week, one man is almost hoping they can keep marching on all the way to the finals.

Grand final skipper James Tamou did an interview with the Herald this week where he said he was “in awe” of his former teammates having left at the end of 2020 to take up a two-year deal at the Tigers. And he said if his side can’t beat them he wants to see his old club go through the year unbeaten.

Some support that.

James Tamou led the Panthers in last year’s grand final.Credit:NRL Photos

Tigers chasing back-to-back wins for first time this year

Just a reminder the Tigers will be chasing back-to-back wins for the first time this season, and they’ll have the chance to do it in front of a packed Leichhardt crowd.

As for Panthers coach Ivan Cleary? It would be a cruel way if they were to end their shot at history finishing the season unbeaten if they were lose No.13 without all their stars. But they’ve been preparing for this period for a while.

And can you believe the Tigers are still outsiders for this clash? Funny game, rugby league.

Welcome to Friday night footy

Hello and welcome to a Friday night, erm, blockbuster as we head into the State of Origin period.

Nothing screams we’re on the brink of the NSW and Queensland rivalry when we start counting the number of players missing through representative duty.

So in the unbeaten Panthers and Tigers we have eight players out as they prepare for the Origin series opener in Townsville; seven for Penrith and Joe Ofahengaue for Michael Maguire’s side.

Nevertheless, should be an intriguing game from Leichhardt Oval.

Panthers enforcer Viliame Kikau will take on a leadership role this week with Origin players out.Credit:Getty

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