The Panthers may be at half strength for their sold out Leichhardt Oval clash with the Tigers tomorrow night, but even that hasn’t swayed Brad Fittler to tip against them, with Michael Maguire’s men yet to show enough consistency to convince the NSW coach they can get the job done.
Penrith are halfway to an astonishing undefeated season but if they’re to complete that feat they will have to navigate a tricky Origin period that has left them vulnerable after the Blues loaded up on Panthers players.
NSW have picked six Penrith stars, including their outstanding halves combination of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai, with Queensland naming a seventh from the club in Kurt Capewell.
Yet there is still enough class in the side remaining to have Fittler and the majority of Nine’s tipsters leaning towards a Panthers win tomorrow night, with the likes of Dylan Edwards, Matt Burton and Stephen Crichton giving the backline plenty of threat and New Zealand Test enforcer James Fisher-Harris and Fijian star Viliame Kikau leading the pack.
While the Tigers had a good win over the Dragons last week, Fittler referenced a trend that they’re yet to break in 2021 as a reason to back against them.
“They haven’t won two games in a row,” Fittler told Andrew Johns on Wide World of Sports Freddy & Joey’s Tips.
“I just don’t know how … they just haven’t been able to find any kind of consistency at all.”
Fittler’s Panthers tip pits him against Johns in that match, with the Eighth Immortal leaning towards an “upset”.
“Is it an upset?” Fittler scoffed. “Look at you all spruiking like it’s a big upset. Mate, half the Penrith team’s out!”
Scroll below for the current leaderboard and Round 13 tips by Johns, Fittler and all Nine’s expert tipsters!
Andrew Johns: Dragons, Tigers, Storm, Knights
Brad Fittler: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Paul Gallen: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Peter Sterling: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Billy Slater: Dragons, Tigers, Storm, Eels
The Mole: Dragons, Tigers, Storm, Eels
Wally Lewis: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Darren Lockyer: Broncos, Tigers, Storm, Eels
Mat Thompson: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
James Bracey: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Peter Psaltis: Broncos, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Tim Elbra: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
Ben Glover: Dragons, Panthers, Storm, Eels
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