Penrith has the weight of history on their shoulders on Saturday night with a staggering anomaly haunting the football club.
Welcome to our live blog of the Battle of the West blockbuster between the Eels and Panthers.
The local derby in Mackay will decide who meets the Melbourne Storm in a grand final qualifier.
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The match is just the third time the two bitter rivals have met in the finals — and the Panthers are facing the hoodoo of never beating the Eels before in a finals series game. Ever.
The Eels have won both of the previous finals clashes in 1985 and in 2000.
However, Penrith has a golden opportunity to change that history when they run out favourites on Saturday night.
The Panthers’ hopes were dealt a massive blow earlier this week when it was revealed just 24 hours before kick-off that star winger Brian To’o had been dropped from the starting 17 as a result of his ongoing ankle problems.
The popular winger picked up a minor ankle injury at training and has been replaced by Brent Naden in the starting side.
He has been replaced by centre Brent Naden.
The Panthers will also be bolstered by the returns of fullback Dylan Edwards, prop Moses Leota and forward Scott Sorensen.
There was a boisterous prediction from former Penrith general manager of football Phil Gould in the lead up to the match with the rugby league icon declaring the Panthers will spark back to life after their surprise loss to South Sydney in the first week of the finals.
Gould said he expects Penrith to win three straight games and go on to win the grand final/
“I still think Panther wins comp,” he wrote on Twitter.
“I think last week was the kick in the arse they needed.”
The game kicks off from 7.50pm (AEST).