Panthers 'dangerous' even without Gower - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers 'dangerous' even without Gower

By Melissa Woods 12/04/2006 05:26:46 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne's Matt Geyer says Penrith has proven how dangerous a proposition it can be, with or without injured playmaker Craig Gower in its lineup.

The halfback has been named in the Panthers side for Saturday's NRL clash with the Storm in Adelaide, just days after his hospitalisation with a bruised lung suffered last round.

Geyer, who will start at five-eighth in place of the suspended Scott Hill, said Penrith's second half point-scoring blitz against Parramatta, which came after Gower had been stretchered from the field, showed the third-placed Panthers could win without him.

"He may not be their captain anymore but he's still their leader but they showed they could do it without him," Geyer said.

"The whole team lifted after Craig left the field and they scored about 30 points."

However Geyer fully expected Gower to take the field, rating him as the toughest player in the competition.

The 30-year-old is looking forward to locking horns with Gower, relishing the switch to the halves where he will partner Cooper Cronk.

"Cooper and I played there during the trials and we worked well together," Geyer said.

"I'm just really looking forward to being able to have an impact on the game."

"So far this season my role has been reactive, if the team's going well than so do I, so I'm looking forward to being more hands on and that's the beauty of playing five-eighth."

Geyer's switch is one of a number to the side that lost to the reigning champion Wests Tigers, before last week's bye.

Steve Turner has replaced suspended fullback Billy Slater, while Jake Webster will return from a hamstring injury and Chris Walker will make his Storm debut on the wing.

Star recruit Mick Crocker has recovered from a facial injury to relegate backrower Ryan Hoffman to the bench.

The Storm are looking to improve on their mixed season to date, after chalking up two wins and two losses, as well as a bye so far in 2006.

"It's been a tough start to the season, playing five away from home, including games against both grand finalists," Geyer said.

"But we're feeling good after the bye so hopefully we can get another win under our belt before we start our regular home and away season next week."

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