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2022 NRL Magic Round Preview, Storm Vs Panthers

Jem Nash previews this Magic Round blockbuster as the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm headline the Saturday night triple header at Suncorp Stadium.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Melbourne Storm Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Date: Saturday May 14, 7:45pm AEST

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tyran Wishart 16. Trent Loiero 17. Chris Lewis 18. Cooper Johns 19. Jordan Grant 20. Tom Eisenhuth 21. Jayden Nikorima 22. Alec MacDonald 23. Tui Kamikamica 24. Will Warbrick

Nick Meaney has been given the role at fullback in place of the injured Ryan Papenhuyzen with Dean Ieremia taking Meaney’s spot on the wing. Reimis Smith will miss an extended period after suffering a pectoral injury last week with development squad member Marion Seve named in the centres, being granted approval by the NRL to play.

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Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Chris Smith 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Sean O’Sullivan 22. Matthew Eisenhuth 23. Soni Luke 24. Charlie Staines

Scott Sorensen is back after missing last week’s game against the Eels due to illness, with Matt Eisenhuth dropping back to the reserves in the only change for the Panthers.

Referee: Ashley Klein

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

The Panthers and Storm return to Suncorp Stadium for Magic Round, the venue where the Panthers eliminated the Storm in last year’s preliminary final on their way to a premiership.

There isn’t a hotter team in the competition right now than the Storm. They have won their last three matches by a combined margin of 162-18 in one of the best runs we’ve ever seen in the NRL. They look simply untouchable right now but the job against the next best team in the Panthers will be made a little harder with the absence of Papenhuyzen and Reimis Smith. Papenhuyzen has been absolutely unstoppable in this incredible Melbourne run and now Nick Meaney will have to step up in his absence. Luckily for the Storm, they have so much firepower right across the park with Cameron Munster arguably in career best form, as well as Jahrome Hughes, Harry Grant, Brandon Smith, and a dominant forward pack led by Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

The Panthers are hoping to bounce back from a shock loss to the Eels at home last week in a very physical battle. Penrith struggled to crack the Eels defence and their attack will need to find their best against a Storm defence that has allowed just six points a game over the last three weeks. They will need Jarome Luai to really fire this week after a relatively quiet start to the season by his standards. If he can outplay his opposite number in Munster, that will go a long way.

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INTERESTING FACT

The Storm and Panthers boast identical defensive records through the first nine rounds, both conceding 110 points; a big reason they sit one and two on the ladder, respectively.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Storm by 6.

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