Ennis to play against Panthers: Moore - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ennis to play against Panthers: Moore

By Steve Jancetic 18/06/2009 08:03:54 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore says he expects in-form hooker Michael Ennis to line up against Penrith on Friday night, despite the lingering threat of a NSW call-up.

With Blues rake Robbie Farah still unable to train due to a rib cartilage injury, Ennis is seen as the logical man to step into the NSW No.9 against Queensland for Origin II on Wednesday night.

Farah has until Friday to prove his fitness to NSW coach Craig Bellamy but Moore said he was preparing as if Ennis would play with no NSW officials having contacted the club to put the Country Origin hooker on standby.

"We haven't heard anything so I would imagine that being the case that Robbie's going to play," Moore said after Thursday's final training run.

"From our point of view Mick's playing tomorrow night. We've had no information on Mick at all."

Ennis ran as per normal during Thursday's session, with no hint of a back-up plan in case of a late call-up.

Still Moore admitted all would not be lost if Ennis was a late withdrawal.

"In my head I've obviously got a (contingency) plan in place but I don't expect I'd have to use it."

The Bulldogs got a surprise boost when NSW shadow player Josh Morris returned to the club after being overlooked in favour of Canberra's Joel Monaghan to replace injured NSW centre Michael Jennings.

Moore said he was delighted to have one of his strike weapons back on deck for a clash against a depleted Panthers side minus Jennings, Petero Civoniceva (Origin commitments) and injured backrower Luke Lewis (broken toe).

"It's great for us, Josh was outstanding last week," Moore said.

"He missed four or five weeks of footy through a toe injury and it probably took the game against Newcastle to run the cobwebs out but he was outstanding against Brisbane last week.

"It's good to have him back but it's also good for Josh to know that he's really not far off Origin, and he shouldn't be.

The game is a re-match of the controversial round two encounter which ended with the Bulldogs being stripped of the two competition points they earned for the win as a result of having 14 players on the field.

Those points would have been enough to see the club sit alone the top of the NRL ladder, as it is they are equal on 20 competition points with St George Illawarra and Gold Coast.

"We've put that behind us," Moore said when asked if there was extra feeling because of the round two debacle.

"It was one of those unfortunate things, it was an honest mistake and from a coaching point of view we've put some things in place to make sure it doesn't happen again."

A decision on who drops off Penrith's five-man bench is not expected until just before kick-off, but it is believed either former Bulldog Andrew Emelio or Junior Tia-Kilifi will miss out.

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