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Understrength Panthers defeated at Suncorp Stadium

The undermanned Penrith Panthers have been outclassed by the Melbourne Storm 37-10 at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday evening. 

Without Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris, Brian To'o, Apisai Koroisau and Tyrone May it was always going to be tough ask for Penrith against the ladder leaders. 

It allowed a few rising Panthers to make the most of the opportunity though, with J'maine Hopgood in particular impressing off the bench with 100 run metres and 20 tackles from 35 minutes.

The early signs were positive too.

Matt Burton made an impact early, forcing an error with a towering bomb before later coming up with a bruising, try-saving tackle on Jahrome Hughes as the Storm pressed the Panthers line early.  

The pressure was telling soon after as a Hughes linebreak brought Melbourne back into the red zone and Reimis Smith was able to force his way over. 

It did not take long for the Storm to make it two tries as Dean Ieremia took advantage of a Josh Addo-Carr kick, although there were question marks over a suspect pass in the lead-up.  

The Storm were at their clinical best once again later as a slick right-edge raid saw Ieremia nab his second.  

Penrith went close to hitting back in the 26th minute as space opened up on the left but Robert Jennings could not finish it off in the corner. 

Liam Martin then went within inches of grounding it under the posts, only to be held up by desperate Melbourne defenders. 

HALF TIME: Storm 18 - Panthers 0 

The Panthers made a positive start to the second half as Jarome Luai put a charging Burton through the middle and into the Melbourne red zone. 

Burton then did well to rush a kick and force a repeat set but once again the Storm defence stood tall to hold the Panthers out. 

That defensive pressure eventually resulted in points soon after as Jesse Bromwich crashed over. 

Harry Grant then took on the line from dummy-half as Melbourne continued to push ahead in what was a dominant display.  

Ieremia then collected his third try after Dylan Edwards fumbled a bomb under pressure. 

The Panthers eventually crossed over for a well-earned try as Luai schemed on the left edge and found his halves partner Burton who put Brent Naden over. 

Naden finishes backline movement

Scott Sorensen then went over for a much-deserved four-pointer in his 50th NRL game to wrap up the contest, with a late Storm field goal the only other points of the night.

FULL-TIME: Storm 37 - Panthers 10

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.