THE Penrith Panthers head south to Sutherland this Saturday for round 18 of the 2013 Waratah Championship League (WCL) competition.
Both Penrith teams dropped their respective games against the Illawarra Hawks last Saturday, with the Hawks women winning 83-42 and the men 76-70.
The result of the men's game saw Penrith drop from fourth to fifth spot on the ladder and the Sharks present another real danger for the Panthers this weekend, in spite of their poor record this season.
Penrith forwards Louis Brandt and Emlyn Dodd both fouled out of last Saturday's game and this appears to have become somewhat of a habit for this pair.
It must be addressed if the Panthers are to reach the playoffs, let alone progress past the first round.
Panthers head coach Jeff Cooper said of last week: "It was a very disappointing way to lose the game".
"A lack of discipline cost us and Emlyn Dodd and Louis Brandt both fouled out again."
Penrith were missing four players from their women's team and it is likely they will again be short-handed against the Sharks.
Illawarra suited up the towering Mariana Tolo last Saturday and it was one of the few games when Penrith's giant young rookie Kelli Sims did not dominate the boards.
Sutherland have their own young giant in exciting rookie Elliyah Fareo and she could be just as tough on the boards, given her impressive showing against the Parramatta Wildcats last Saturday.
Women: Illawarra Hawks 83 def Penrith Panthers 42 (Kallie Hovatter 11 points, Jess Johnson 10)
Men: Illawarra Hawks 76 def Penrith Panthers 70 (Ben Kearins 18 points, Ben Ellsworth 14, Louis Brandt 10)