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No Origin ‘releases the pressure valve’ on James Maloney says Panthers teammate Isaah Yeo


The Penrith Panthers will go head to head with the Manly Sea Eagles on Thursday night, opening up the split round at the base of the Blue Mountains.

Penrith broke a six-match losing streak with a gutsy win over Parramatta last round while Manly blew an early lead and allowed the Titans to run in seven tries to their one.

Panthers backrower Isaah Yeo, who was all but ruled out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, has pulled off a stunning recovery.

“It came out that I was having the reconstruction and am done for the season so it’s been pretty quick to be fair, only about three and a half weeks, so I’m back playing with the boys,” Yeo tells David Morrow and Mat Thompson.

Yeo will move into the centres to replace the injured Dean Whare and Waqa Blake but says he’s used to plugging gaps in the backline.

“The last time was probably against the Sharks, but before that, I was pretty lucky because under Hook we had a back on the bench, so I didn’t have to fill in too much last year,” he said.

“I guess it’s just lucky that I can fill that role and that gap, if possible.”

James Maloney returns after a serving a weeks suspension and is expected to play with a renewed focus seeing as State of Origin selection is no longer a point of speculation.

“I think he’ll come out and put on a really good performance and show the selectors they got it wrong,” Yeo said.

“I’m expecting him to play really well for us this week, he’s our communicator there and I’m expecting a big performance.

“It probably does release the pressure valve on him a little bit, he doesn’t have to think about that any more, but I would’ve loved to have seen him picked.”

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