PENRITH PANTHERS v NORTHERN PRIDE
ANZ Stadium, Sunday, October 5 – 2.55pm*(Queensland time)
Broadcast: Live Channel 9 + affiliates / FOX Sports 1
Match Officials - Referee: Adam Cassidy, Touch Judges: Clayton Sharpe and Liam Nichols
Twitter: #QldPride #NRLStateChampionship
Radio: ABC (Link available via ABC Grandstand)
Radio: 2GB (Link available via 2GB.com)
Radio: Hawkesbury Radio (Link available via Hawkesbury Radio)
The Pride of the North will carry the support of the whole state with them when they travel to Sydney to take on NSW Cup winners Penrith in this year’s inaugural NRL State Championship. The Intrust Super Cup premiers are rated outsiders to upset the Panthers in the curtain raiser to the NRL grand final, despite both teams being similarly dominant throughout their year. Both sides finished their respective seasons as minor premiers and both also posted comprehensive wins in their premiership deciders, with the Pride defeating the Tigers 36-4 and the Panthers accounting for the Knights 48-12. This new addition to the NRL grand final day line-up is set to be a showcase for great rugby league, given the number of experienced players and exciting up-and-comers featuring for both teams. The Panthers will be led by veteran Kevin Kingston (a Nerang Roosters junior); while the Pride will rely on NRL-bound stars like Blake Leary (also a Nerang Roosters junior) and Shaun Nona to fire if they are to pull off the upset. In team news, the Pride’s Joel Riethmuller has accepted an early guilty plea for Detrimental Conduct and will miss this game. Jack Svendsen comes into the side and has some idea of what to expect from the occasion, having been 18th man in North Queensland’s 31-30 golden-point loss to New Zealand in the 2011 NYC decider. Prop Ricky Thorby has also taken an early guilty plea for Detrimental Conduct, but is free to play. Kyle Feldt has ruled himself out of the match with Davin Crampton to move to the centres and Patrick Kaufusi coming in on the bench. The Panthers have also made one change to their victorious grand final team, with Ben Murdoch-Masila in for the injured Issah Yeo.
All you need to know about Sunday’s game can be found on the QRL’s NRL State Championship information page.
NRL State Championship Team Lists:
NORTHERN PRIDE: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Javid Bowen 3. Brett Anderson (c) 16. Davin Crampton 5. Semi Tadulala 6. Shaun Nona 7. Sam Obst 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Ethan Lowe 11. Blake Leary 12. Tyrone McCarthy 13. Ben Spina 14. Ryan Ghietti 15. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. Jack Svendsen 21. Patrick Kaufusi
Coach: Jason Demetriou
PENRITH PANTHERS: 1. Kieran Moss 2. Eto Nabuli 3. Waqa Blake 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Wes Naiqama 6. Luke Capewell 7. Tom Humble 8. Sam Anderson 9. Kevin Kingston 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila 12. Nathan Smith 13. Ryan Simpkins 14. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 15. Kierran Moseley 16. Leilani Latu 17. Andy Saunders
Coach: Garth Brennan