2023 NRL Preview Round 18: Storm Vs Panthers

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 18 clash between the Storm and Panthers.



Melbourne Storm Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: Marvel Stadium
Date: Friday June 30, 8:00pm


Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tariq Sims 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 13. Josh King 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Tui Kamikamica 17. Kane Bradley 18. Tyran Wishart 19. Tom Eisenhuth 20. Chris Lewis 21. Sualauvi Faalogo 22. Jonah Pezet

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Jack Cogger 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Zac Hosking 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Luke Garner 21. Tyrone Peachey 22. Thomas Jenkins

Referee: Adam Gee

Embed from Getty Images


Two of the competition’s heavyweights will battle it out in a rare rugby league match at Marvel Stadium, in front of what is hopefully a big crowd.

Cameron Munster returns for the Storm after being rested last week, while Tui Kamikamica is also back from a calf injury. Jonah Pezet drops back to the reserves, with Kane Bradley named named on the bench.

Penrith’s Origin quintet of Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin, and Isaah Yeo are all back this week. Jaeman Salmon drops to the bench, while Tyrone Peachey, Thomas Jenkins, Zach Hosking, and Matt Eisenhuth have all been left out.

Both sides come into this clash on 10 wins, with the winner a good chance to finish the round on top of the ladder. The Panthers managed to beat the Knights by eight points last week despite almost half their starting lineup missing the clash, while the Storm scored 24 unanswered points to overcome the Sea Eagles.

After a disappointing loss to the Cowboys back in Round 14, where they gave up 45 points, Melbourne have fixed up their defence, allowing just 22 points in their last three matches. The Panthers still easily boast the best defence in the competition, allowing just 12.5 points per game, meaning this match will likely be a tough, defensive battle.

Just four points separating first to ninth, so this shapes as a very important match between two teams who will likely still be alive at the pointy end of the season. With Nathan Cleary still out for the Panthers, the edge goes slightly to the Storm.


Storm 5, Panthers 5


Storm by 4 points.

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