Qualifying final: Melbourne Storm (2nd) v Parramatta Eels (3rd), Saturday 7.50pm EST at Suncorp Stadium
Match: Storm v Eels
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
A week's rest and a spot in a preliminary final is on the line when the Melbourne Storm host Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Melbourne will be unconcerned about entering the clash off a last-start loss as their unshakeable hold on second spot granted them the luxury of fielding the second least-experienced side in NRL history against a Dragons outfit focused on a final dose of redemption for 2020.
As few as two players could back up for the first finals match with skipper Cameron Smith leading a returning contingent that includes all but two members, fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen and injured lock Dale Finucane, of the Storm's preferred starting 13.
Parramatta rebounded well to confirm their place in the top four after Wests Tigers looked on course to deny them the double chance in round 20 but will have to go up a couple of gears, and maintain that intensity for the full 80 minutes, if they are to challenge Melbourne.