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Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs NRL live stream - Panthers continue push towards top eight

Penrith Panthers continue their charge towards the top eight when they play host to the Canterbury Bulldogs to launch NRL Round 21 action on Thursday night at Pepper Stadium.

Panthers and Bulldogs kick off at 1050 BST at Pepper Stadium. Watch & bet on live streaming rugby league at bet365 > sports > live streaming rugby league (geo restrictions apply to Aus/NZ residents).

On a three-match winning streak and the team most likely to shake up what is seemingly a settled top eight, it goes without saying that this is a must-win clash for the Panthers at home on Thursday night.

Tagged as premiership favourites at the beginning of the season, the young Penrith team struggled with the increased spotlight and expectation and suffered an extremely slow start to the campaign, but they’ve started to hit their stride over the last couple of months.

Boom halfback Nathan Cleary is improving with every game and is doing a tremendous job of leading his side around, especially over the last few weeks, with his clear highlight coming against the Warriors, where he bagged a hat-trick and set up two more tries.

Two points behind the eighth-placed Dragons and four points ahead of the chasing pack, it’s imperative that Penrith continue their winning momentum and continue to put the pressure on St George Illawarra, who are brimming with confidence after their big win over Manly last week.

However the Panthers must be on guard against a Bulldogs side that is reeling from another heavy loss in 2017, this time leaking 40+ points to the Broncos.

Canterbury, who must win all their remaining games to have any chance of making the finals, have bounced back twice already this season from big defeats - including a 38-0 loss to the Panthers back in Round 13, going on to topple the Dragons in their next game.

Des Hasler, who is constantly under pressure these days, survived another board meeting mid-week, and he will be determined to fire up his troops for this clash. The Bulldogs actually weren’t that poor against the Broncos in the opening half, taking the lead and dominating the first 25 minutes before a few unlucky calls meant Brisbane took a 12-point lead into the break, and from there they lost their way.

Canterbury play their best when their backs are against the wall, but this season they’ve really suffered from a lack of creativity and points in attack, while their forwards haven’t been on top form. If Penrith are serious about playing finals, this is a match they must win. Panthers 1-12.

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Panthers won last two meetings between the sidesPenrith won 38-0 back in R13Bulldogs won corresponding fixture last year with a sideline conversion on the siren

Team Lists

Matt Moylan is out for the Panthers with a hamstring injury, with Tyrone May named in the halves alongside Nathan Cleary.

Bulldogs captain James Graham returns from a neck injury as Danny Fualalo moves back to the bench and Francis Tualau drops out the side.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Tyrone May 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 11. Corey Harawira 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Moses Leota 14. Sione Katoa 15. Leilani Latu 16. Tim Browne 17. James Fisher-Harris 18. Bryce Cartwright 19. Dean Whare 20. Viliame Kikau 21. Sitaleki Akauola

Bulldogs: 1. William Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Chase Stanley 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Matt Frawley 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Moses Mbye 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Adam Elliot 13. David Klemmer 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Michael Lichaa 19. Francis Tualau 20. Kerrod Holland 21. Asipeli Fine 23. Brenko Lee

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