Panthers stars return for Roosters clash
With a stack of representative players returning to the fold, Penrith coach Ivan Cleary is hoping they are all mentally switched on so they can quickly resume course in their NRL campaign.
Only three of the Panthers' 17-man squad didn't feature in a rep squad last weekend, with seven of them set to back up from Sunday's State of Origin II against the Sydney Roosters on Friday.
Sitting three games clear on top of the ladder, it could be a danger game for the Panthers against a Roosters side now sitting outside the eight and desperately needing to find form if they're to make finals.
"They're in a position where they really need to get it going, we definitely see the danger in this game," Cleary told reporters.
"There's been a lot going on for our players lately so it's important we get our heads back in the game and just produce for our community.
"Some of those guys are doing it for the first time ... it's definitely a challenge but it's something we're aware of. It's one thing to be aware of it but another to put it into practice."
Cleary will look for another big game from star halfback and son Nathan Cleary, who led NSW to an easy win in State of Origin game two with a masterful display including two tries.
The proud father said he admired the way Nathan had copped criticism after game one to bounce back.
"I was most proud of him with the way he handled things after game one, the way he owned his performance ... players walk straight out into criticism and he put his hand up and accepted it.
"He's a big part of the team in the position he plays, if he doesn't do things to the standard he sets himself it's going to affect the team.
"He was offered an excuse by people for game one and he didn't take it ... that's probably why they were able to play so well in game two."
Sydney will regain lock Victor Radley for the first time since hurting an ankle in round 10, while centre Joey Manu will shift into the halves in the absence of Luke Keary (concussion), particularly after his record-breaking 402m effort for New Zealand at fullback last Saturday.
"He enjoyed the space that he had ... he's played really well," Sydney coach Trent Robinson told reporters.
"It's important for him to impact the game in his style and as much as possible, and that's our role as well.
"With Luke being out, Drew (Hutchison) has played a role this year for us but I just want to get those guys touching the ball as much as possible.
"(Manu) was there during the Melbourne game, he went to five-eighth and had a really good impact."
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