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Preview: Storm v Panthers

A clutch of injuries proved disruptive to the Melbourne Storm last Monday night against Parramatta and all four players who missed the Round 21 game have again been omitted from the line-up.
Preview: Storm v Panthers
by NRL

A clutch of injuries proved disruptive to the Melbourne Storm last Monday night against Parramatta and all four players who missed the Round 21 game have again been omitted from the line-up.

High-flying winger Matt Duffie, improved five-eighth Gareth Widdop, second-rower Sika Manu and interchange Rory Kostjasyn were all 11th hour withdrawals last Monday and the Storm struggled to regroup in their absence. Parramatta surged to an 18-0 lead before the Storm managed to climb out of the hole in the final minutes of the contest.

Injuries proved even more damaging to the Panthers when they took on North Queensland in Townsville last Saturday night. Regular fullback Lachlan Coote and five-eighth Travis Burns missed the trip with ankle and hand injuries respectively and making matters worse the Panthers lost lock Luke Lewis to concussion on the stroke of halftime.

Coote and Burns will be missing again when the Panthers head south to AAMI Park but Lewis has been named in Steve Georgallis' line-up.

If Monday night's performance is any indicator, the Storm may have hit a flat spot in their season but they should be capable of toppling the depleted Panthers on home soil.

Take a Melbourne try as First Scoring Play and look to a Storm win by 13+ points.

Best chances for First Tryscorer are Billy Slater, Dane Nielsen and Matt Duffie for the Storm or David Simmons, Brad Tighe or Adrian Purtell for the Panthers.

Melbourne v Penrith
AAMI Park
Saturday night 5.30pm


Melbourne Storm
1 Billy Slater, 2 Justin O'Neill, 3 Dane Nielsen, 4 Beau Champion, 5 Sisa Waqa, 6 Maurice Blair, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith [c], 10 Bryan Norrie, 11 Adam Blair, 12 Kevin Proctor, 13 Ryan Hinchcliffe. Subs: 14 Robbie Rochow, 15 Atelea Vea, 16 Adam Woolnough, 17 Jaiman Lowe.

Penrith Panthers
1 David Simmons, 2 Ryan Walker, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Tighe, 5 Adrian Purtell, 6 Harry Seijka, 7 Luke Walsh, 8 Tim Grant, 9 Kevin Kingston, 10 Petero Civoniceva [c], 11 Trent Waterhouse, 12 Nigel Plum, 13 Luke Lewis. Subs: 14 Nafe Seluini, 15 Nathan Smith, 16 Matthew Bell, 17 Sam McKendry, 18 Masada Iosefa (one to be omitted).

Prediction - Matthew O'Neill: Storm by 20

OVERALL:
Total Games: 22
Melbourne Storm wins: 16. [Pts: 638]
Penrith Panthers wins: 6. [Pts: 401]
Draws: 0

Biggest wins:
Melbourne Storm: 52 pts: 2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 17 - [View] Fri Jul 2: Storm 66 d. Panthers 14 [Crowd: 9042]
Penrith Panthers: 20 pts: 2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 5 - [View] Fri: Panthers 36 d. Storm 16 [Crowd: 14844]

Biggest Crowd: 2004 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 5 - [View] Sun Apr 11: Panthers 30 d. Storm 26 [Crowd: 19217]

Last 50 games against each other form line (most recent matches at end of line):
Melbourne Storm: WWLLWWLWWWLWLLWWWWWWWW
Penrith Panthers: LLWWLLWLLLWLWWLLLLLLLL

Last 10 games:
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 6 - [View] Sun: Penrith Panthers 10 l. Melbourne Storm 25 [Crowd: 11137]
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 20 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 18 d. Penrith Panthers 10 [Crowd: 11212]
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 3 - [View] Sat: Penrith Panthers 10 l. Melbourne Storm 16 [Crowd: 11024]
2009 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 5 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 16 d. Penrith Panthers 14 [Crowd: 10110]
2008 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 24 - [View] Mon: Penrith Panthers 6 l. Melbourne Storm 40 [Crowd: 8813]
2007 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 6 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 30 d. Penrith Panthers 20 [Crowd: 9909]
2006 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 12 - [View] Sun: Storm 17 d. Panthers 16 [Crowd: 7899]
2006 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 6 - [View] Sat: Panthers 18 l. Storm 40 [Crowd: 7017]
2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 15 - [View] Sat: Storm 14 l. Panthers 28 [Crowd: 7707]
2005 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 5 - [View] Fri: Panthers 36 d. Storm 16 [Crowd: 14844]

Overall record at AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC (AUS) Stats:
Melbourne Storm: 18 games, won 14, drawn 0, lost 4.
Last 5 games:
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 20 - [View] Fri: Melbourne Storm 26 d. Brisbane Broncos 6
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 14 - [View] Mon: Melbourne Storm 21 d. Sydney Roosters 4
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 12 - [View] Sun: Melbourne Storm 14 d. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 8
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 10 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 12 l. Canberra Raiders 20
2011 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 8 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 42 d. Newcastle Knights 12

Penrith Panthers: 1 games, won 0, drawn 0, lost 1.
Last 5 games:
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 20 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 18 d. Penrith Panthers 10

Head to Head at AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC (AUS) Stats:
Total Games: 1
Melbourne Storm wins: 1. [Pts: 18]
Penrith Panthers wins: 0. [Pts: 10]
Draws: 0

Only game:
2010 NRL Telstra Premiership - Round 20 - [View] Sat: Melbourne Storm 18 d. Penrith Panthers 10 [Crowd: 11212]

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