Have two cricket stories and then will make my related point about Friday's game.
In cricket some dudes aren't very good technically but if you drop them early they can gain in confidence and start to play quite well. We call them confidence players. No team tries to acquire confidence players. You want technically sound guys who play with determination and not only when there is a fair wind.
Other dudes in cricket compete against the other team and the other player instead of focusing on their own game and playing to the peak of their potential. These types of players can be quite good against weak opposition and put them to the sword, but can get flustered if they believe the other players are just better than them and either give up, or alternatively they can play down to the level they are expecting the opposition to be at based on the Thursday night strategy session.
In the past the Panthers have been a confidence team. If you score first and get on top of them they wilt and don't come back. Secondly they seem greatly influenced by the result they got the previous week. If they won they can be world beaters. In this case they drew against a team without Mitchell Pearce so believe they will be slightly flat.
Advantage Warriors based on that.
In terms of the Warriors. They are like the cricketers who play the opposition instead of playing the game the best they can. We all remember last year I think when they were missing Nathan Cleary and James Maloney. Our Warriors decided the skill and determination level they needed to beat the Panthers that day was minimal and as such we were thrashed and put in probably the worst performance I have ever seen; highlighted Peta Hiku
walking after an opposition player who had made a line break, had he jogged Peta would have caught him as Roger slowed down the Panther player.
Am I making my point clear. This is why the Warriors can look credible vs the Storm yet also look an equal participant in a cripple fight against the Bulldogs.
Based on Cleary not playing this would be an advantage to Panthers as it will lead to Warriors dialing down their intensity accordingly.
Overall conclusion. It will be an intense but messy game of league with dropped balls and player errors on both sides. Be sure to have some alcohol near by.