Mitchell Pearce previews NRL semi-finals

Newcastle star Mitchell Pearce previews this week's two Telstra Premiership semi-finals with former NRL coach Matthew Elliott and premiership-winning playmaker Jamie Soward.

Pearce and Soward preview Friday's clash between Cronulla and Penrith, with Pearce saying in the video analysis that his former Roosters teammate James Maloney holds the aces for the Panthers.

"I think his composure and his no-care factor is what gets him results in the big games," Pearce says.

"I've played with Jimmy, nothing really worries him. He can come up with six kicks out on the full and then lay on four tries."

Pearce and Elliott run their expert eye over Saturday night's clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the rejuvenated - but injury-hit - St George Illawarra Dragons.

Pearce says the Dragons will miss injured five-eighth Gareth Widdop but has backed halfback Ben Hunt to fire if his pack can get an edge over their Rabbitohs counterparts.

"Widdop's obviously a massive loss - they were struggling for form, Widdop comes back, they win by a big margain.

"There's no doubt he gets a lot of points for them with his vision. Ben Hunt's played a lot of hooker and is obviously a great halfback but his vision is very much around the As and Bs and he's a runner of the ball so they're going to lose a bit of strike, no doubt.

"But if Benny Hunt kicks well and the team completes, and he runs the ball, I still think they'll have enough points in them if they can get over the advantage line in the middle."

"I was actually talking to Benny after the game last week and I've been in a similar position in my career, being a halfback you've got to expect that. He shouldn't be doubting himself at all, he's a great player, he's played a lot of big games, and until round 10 or 11 he was the best player in the game."

 

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