NRL match preview: Penrith Panthers vs Melbourne Storm

Date: Monday August 25
Venue: SportingBet Stadium
Kick-off: 7pm


Panthers: Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dean Whare, Jamal Idris, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, William Smith, Jamie Soward, Nigel Plum, James Segeyaro, Sam McKendry, Sika Manu, Matt Robinson, Adam Docker. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jeremy Latimore, Tim Grant

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, William Chambers, Mahe Fonua, Marika Koroibete, Ben Roberts, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Tim Glasby, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Jordan McLean


There’s a lot at stake when Penrith host Melbourne on Monday night at SportingBet Stadium.  A win for Penrith will all but secure a top four finish which is quite remarkable given the run of injuries the club faces at the back end of the season.  Melbourne on the other hand with a win will confirm their place in the finals series and keep them in with an outside chance of finishing in the top four.

Penrith are coming off a one point win over in-form North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night.  Jamie Soward was in fine form as he steered the mountain men to their fourteenth win of the season.  James Segeyaro had a scare ten minutes from full time when he left the field with an ankle injury.  Segeyaro confirming mid-week he will be available for this week’s clash as  Ivan Cleary named an unchanged team.  Matt Moylan could be the game breaker with the fullback having the final say in three of their eight home wins this season.  In late news, Segeyaro will not take his place in the Panthers team as he’s flown to Papua New Guinea following the passing of his father.  Kevin Kingston has been called into the squad.

Melbourne travel to Penrith after thrashing Cronulla 48-6 at AAMI Park last Saturday.  Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk dominating as they led by thirty at the break.  The Storm’s record on the road this year is five wins from ten matches with their most recent road trip ending in disaster as they were run over the top by Newcastle.  Craig Bellamy’s only change was to switch Ryan Hinchcliffe to start, with Jordan McLean to the bench.  While Melbourne boast the ‘spine’ of Slater, Smith and Cronk, it could be the wingers Sisa Waqa and Marika Koroibete who could get them home.


Expect another tight game with Penrith to get home by four points.

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