THE Panthers will kick off their title defence when they host Canterbury on Sunday knowing that everyone will be after them in 2015.
Fullback Kieran Moss grabbed a hat-trick in the grand final win against Newcastle and says their premiership win has only made them hungrier for more success.
“Obviously there’s quite a bit of pressure to try and keep up the standard from last year,” said Moss.
“We’re just focussing on what we have to do and we’re confident we can be there again in the finals.”
For Bulldogs coach Andrew Patmore it was a long season last year with just the six wins but he’ll be excited at the galaxy of stars at his disposal at this early stage.
Halfback Moses Mbye, who’s 18th man for the NRL squad this weekend, fullback Corey Thompson, centre Chase Stanley and veteran prop Antonio Kaufusi give the Bulldogs a nice blend.
“It’s gonna be a big game. The first round can’t get any tougher than playing the Panthers at home,” said Kaufusi.
“I’ll just focus on my performance and ultimately that will help the team performance.”
Penrith were the standout side in 2014, winning 20 of their 24 games during the regular season before taking out the grand final against the Knights at Allianz Stadium.
Twice they accounted for the Dogs, beating them 22-12 in round three before escaping Belmore with a 35-28 win in round 10.
Penrith v Canterbury, Pepper Stadium, Sunday March 8. Kick-off: 1.45pm. Referee: Daniel Olford
PANTHERS: 1. KIERAN MOSS 2. CHRISTIAN CRICHTON 3. WILL SMITH 4. WAQA BLAKE 5. ROBERT JENNINGS 6. ISAAC JOHN 7. ADRIAN DAVIS 8. ANDY SAUNDERS 9. LIAM AYOUB 10. BEN MURDOCH-MASILA 11. TUPOU SOPOAGA 12. JAMES FISHER-HARRIS 13. ADAM DOCKER 14. SAM ANDERSON 15. RODNEY COATES 16. LEILANI LATU 17. NU’U AKERIPA 19. CHRIS SMITH
BULLDOGS: 1 COREY THOMPSON 2 TYRONE PHILLIPS 3 LEVI DODD 4 CHASE STANLEY 5 JARROD MCINALLY 6 MATT FRAWLEY 7 MOSES MBYE 8 ANTONIO KAUFUSI 9 DAMIEN COOK 10 DANNY FUALALO 11 SHAUN LANE 12 ADAM ELLIOTT 13 LLOYD PERRETT 14 JALINE GRAHAM 15 MAKAHESI MAKATOA 16 DAVID MINUTE 17 HERMAN ESE’ESE 19 JASON SCHIRNACK 20 LINDON MCGRADY COACH ANDREW PATMORE
This article first appeared on www.nswrl.com.au