Jennings excited about fullback chance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jennings excited about fullback chance

Ben Horne 11/08/2011 08:06:15 PM Comments (0)

Penrith star Michael Jennings is eager to prove he can transfer his sublime attacking skills to fullback when the Panthers tackle Wests Tigers on Friday night.

The club's two dynamos in the No.1 jersey Lachlan Coote and Michael Gordon are both out with injury, and Jennings has the chance to show what he can do with a free rein at Centrebet Stadium.

Normally a try-scoring machine, Jennings has had an interrupted year through injury and indifferent form, and at club level he has just the one four-pointer to his name.

But while he sometimes struggles for quality ball playing in the centres, the NSW representative will have no excuses when he is given a licence to roam across the field.

Even Jennings' teammates are interested to see how the experiment goes.

"I think it'll be pretty exciting to see how he goes back there, because with a bit more freedom, he'll be able to come in and get his hands on the ball whenever he wants," said prop Matt Bell.

"I think he has played there before ... we've been a bit unlucky losing Michael Gordon and Lachie Coote.

"He's been fine (at training), he loves it there I think so he can just pop up wherever he wants. He's enjoying it at training anyway."

Penrith have a convincing winning record over the Tigers, although Wests have got the better of the mountain men in their past two clashes.

Wests are currently in eighth spot and need to win to enhance their chances of avoiding Melbourne and finishing as high as possible.

The Tigers are in outstanding form with four wins on the trot, and while opposition teams know exactly what they're capable of in attack - it's Wests' defence in knocking off heavyweights Manly and St George Illawarra which has impressed the most.

However, Penrith, like the Tigers, are a side that likes to throw the ball around and Bell says the Panthers will aim to put points on the board.

"When we stick to our game plan we seem to score a few points so I think we're going to concentrate on that this week and hopefully that will get us a few tries," said Bell, who claims his Panthers haven't yet given up on making an unlikely late run for the finals.

Bell debuted for Penrith in 2006 and has provided six years of loyal service, but he finds himself in the unusual position this week of coming up against the team he will join next season.

The Tigers have recruited Bell to help ease the losses of Bryce Gibbs and Todd Payten up front.

Bell said he's got mixed feelings ahead of the showdown with his future employers.

"I was a bit sad about leaving but it's a new club and it's a new start for me so it's a bit exciting in that way," Bell told AAP.

"I just hope I can make a difference there that's all.

"I just want to end the year on a good note and have a few wins before I leave."

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