Penrith Panthers Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Accor Stadium
Date: Friday September 22nd, 7:50PM
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Jack Cogger 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner 18. Tyrone Peachey 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Zac Hosking 21. Luke Sommerton 22. Thomas Jenkins
Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Reimis Smith 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Tariq Sims 18. Grant Anderson 19. Bronson Garlick 20. Sualauvi Faalogo 21. Tepai Moeroa 22. Chris Lewis
Referee: Adam GeeEmbed from Getty Images
Very few games in the NRL have the same level of pressure like a Prelim Final and everything is on the line for these premiership contenders when the Panthers host the Storm at Accor Stadium on Friday.
While the Panthers come into this clash heavy favourites and the Storm have had their struggles recently, it is always a risk to underestimate a Bellamy coached side, especially in finals and Penrith know this better than most (sorry Panthers fans for bringing up the 2020 Grand Final).
The Panthers have featured in the last three grand finals and will be looking to make it four straight appearances with this week’s opponent the only thing standing between them and a chance at a third straight premiership.
The Storm has an incredible finals record of their own, having reached the prelim in 10 of their last 13 seasons and will want to get one over the reigning premiers.
The Panthers have the benefit of having a week off following their win over the Warriors while the Storm have gotten here the hard way after going down to the Broncos and bouncing back with a last-minute victory over the Roosters.
Both sides have key players returning at just the right time with Jerome Luai and Izack Tago returning for the Panthers while Jahrome Hughes is expected to overcome his injury and return for the Storm.
There were concerns over Nathan Cleary after the halfback suffered a finger injury but the halfback should be good to go.
While there are mouth-watering matchups across the park, it’s the halves combinations that hold the key to success for either side. Munster and Hughes can break the game open at a moment’s notice and will have the Panthers defenders on full alert. While on the other side of the pitch, Cleary can dictate terms with his long kicking game while Luai’s fast feet can cause plenty of headaches if any defenders clock off for even a second.
This game promises to be a cracker!
LAST TEN MATCHES
Panthers 6, Storm 4
Panthers by 12
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