BY STAFF WRITERS
It could be the only saving grace to what will be a one-sided affair out at Penrith on Sunday afternoon when the back-to-back defending premiers host the cellar-dwelling Canterbury Bulldogs.
The Panthers are sitting pretty in 1st place on the table while the Doggies are way down in 15th.
Canterbury, according to the bookies, are paying $12.05 to win while the Panthers are $1.03.
While Bulldogs supremo Phil Gould has done his best to take the attention of the club, dominating the media cycle in recent weeks, the fact is the Bulldogs are 1-4 over the last five weeks which includes an upset win over a Rabbitohs side missing their State of Origin stars.
Over that period, the Bulldogs have leaked 224 points.
Unfortunately for Canterbury supporters, the Panthers have also decided to bring back several superstars for the clash on the run to the finals including Nathan Cleary and the four Blues from Origin III in Liam Martin, Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o and Isaah Yeo.
That’s why everyone will have their fingers and toes crossed that a former Panthers enforcer gets a late start for the Dogs which would be a salivating match-up against his former teammates with Canterbury naming Viliame Kikau on an extended bench.
If Kikau does play, it would at least give us something worth watching.
Kikau, the original Panthers monster up against many of the men he won premierships with.
Would the Panthers target the big man or show him respect?
The Fijian International would almost certainly start from the bench in what would be a potential one-two punch – starting off the bench with fellow monster Tevita Pangai Junior.
It may not even get the Bulldogs with 30 points of the Panthers but it would be worth watching.