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Canberra went some way to vanquishing last year's grand final pain by exacting playoff revenge on the Roosters, but now mighty Melbourne are blocking their path to consecutive appearances in the season decider.

While Raiders stars Josh Papalii, Joe Tapine and Jack Wighton were willing their side to a famously gritty victory on Friday, the Storm enjoyed a rest having beaten Parramatta the week prior.

Melbourne haven't lost in Queensland for 19 matches, so Canberra are faced with a stiff task at Suncorp Stadium. However, Ricky Stuart's troops have proven time and again they thrive under adversity.

These teams have fought out some terrific games in recent times, not least in week one of the finals in 2019 when Canberra held on for a 12-10 victory at the Storm's AAMI Park fortress.

The rundown

Team news

Storm: Lock Dale Finucane came through the captain's run and will line up for his 200th NRL game after overcoming a calf injury. Finucane joins the bench in jersey No.18 with Tom Eisenhuth and Paul Momirovski the last two players omitted an hour before kick-off.

Five-eighth Cameron Munster trained strongly in the captain's run and coach Craig Bellamy said there had been "not many concerns at all" with the knee he re-injured in the 36-24 qualifying final win over the Eels.

Ryley Jacks and Lewis were cut from the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off. 

Winger Josh Addo-Carr has scored 12 tries in his past eight games at Suncorp Stadium. 

Raiders: Ricky Stuart has again brought hooker Siliva Havili and prop Hudson Young into the starting line-up on game day, with Tom Starling and Iosia Soliola reverting to the bench.

Centre Jordan Rapana will play despite a sternum injury.

Ryan Sutton and Michael Oldfield were trimmed from the reserves on Thursday night and Sam Williams and Matt Timoko were omitted an hour before game time.

The Raiders have not won at Suncorp Stadium since 2010.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Brenko Lee
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Jordan Rapana
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Semi Valemei
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
    Hooker for Raiders is number 14 Siliva Havili
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
    Prop for Raiders is number 16 Hudson Young
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 John Bateman
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Joseph Tapine

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
    Interchange for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tino Faasuamaleaui
    Interchange for Raiders is number 10 Iosia Soliola
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Nicho Hynes
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Dunamis Lui
  • Interchange for Storm is number 18 Dale Finucane
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jesse Bromwich v Josh Papalii. The ever-consistent Bromwich has the challenge of shutting down opposing front-row enforcer Papalii, who has at times carried Canberra with his inspirational efforts. There are some other great one-on-one match-ups - namely five-eighths Cameron Munster and Jack Wighton - but it's in the engine room where this match is likely to be won.

Stat Attack

A 90 per cent completion rate (38/42 sets) propelled the Raiders to victory over the Roosters. The simplicity of holding the ball and desperation in defence could be the key to toppling the electric Storm, who completed at 73 per cent in their win against the Eels.