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Storm v Panthers: Grant returns; To'o, Yeo, May out

The Panthers got the chocolates the last time they faced the Storm back in round three (12-10) but a lot has happened over the intervening 17 weeks.

This match has been transferred from a 7.35pm kick-off on Saturday to a 4.05pm start on Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane due to the revised round 20 draw brought about by Queensland's snap lockdown.

The Storm have won 15 straight while the Panthers have lost two of their past six as injuries and Origin commitments began to take their toll.

But since these two are locked on 34 points, with 16 wins each, this Sunday's contest holds plenty of appeal. 

The minor premiership could well be decided if the winners can then hang on undefeated for the following five games - which is not beyond the capabilities of either side.

The rundown

Team news

Storm: Harry Grant will return from a hamstring injury via the bench. He joins Jordan Grant, Chris Lewis and Ryan Papenhuyzen as the interchange players.

The 1-13 named on Tuesday will start the match with Tepai Moeroa the 18th man for Melbourne.

In changes announced on Friday, Aaron Pene, Tui Kamikamica and Tom Eisenhuth were the three players to drop out.

Nicho Hynes holds on to the No.1 jersey with Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench.

The Storm have won their past 11 games at Suncorp Stadium.

Panthers: Penrith will start 1-17 with Paul Momirovski the 18th man.

Robert Jennings comes on to the wing to replace Origin star Brian To'o, who is expected to undergo syndesmosis surgery and miss around six weeks.

Tyrone May (knee) also faces a significant stint on the sideline. His absence sees Matt Burton move to five-eighth, with Brent Naden replacing him in the centres.

Lindsay Smith and Kurt Falls were the two players dropped from the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

The Panthers have won three of their past five games against the Storm.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicho Hynes
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Stephen Crichton
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Brent Naden
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Robert Jennings
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Matt Burton
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Jarome Luai

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 Liam Martin
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Kurt Capewell
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Chris Lewis
    Interchange for Panthers is number 13 Matthew Eisenhuth
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Izack Tago
  • Interchange for Storm is number 19 Harry Grant
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Storm is number 20 Jordan Grant
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 J'maine Hopgood

Reserves

  • Reserve for Storm is number 22 Tepai Moeroa
    Reserve for Panthers is number 18 Paul Momirovski

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jarome Luai v Cameron Munster: Origin foes just weeks ago, the No.6s get to face off again and will be eager to get another win over the other, even if it's back in club land and not the interstate arena.

Luai has 14 try assists and Munster just seven but Munster is coming into his favourite time of the year - the finals - as big games bring out his best. 

Stat attack

Considering these two sides are level on wins and losses at the top of the NRL ladder it's surprising to find the Storm way out in front for the number of tries after 19 rounds - 118 - compared with 88 to the Panthers.

 

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