The Panthers and Storm meet in the match of the round at BlueBet Stadium on Friday night with both heavyweight clubs set to face off for another chapter that has seen plenty of rivalry in recent years.
Penrith are on the cusp on an elusive and rare three-peat with many asking the question of just who can stop them in September as the finals run begins to heat up.
Melbourne will put their hand up and say they can but their inconsistency this season has been uncharacteristic for a Craig Bellamy side despite them well-placed in the top eight after 22 rounds.
Both these sides only met a month ago at Marvel Stadium with the Panthers - minus Nathan Cleary - running down a Storm side who shot out to a 14-0 lead early.
The contest provides the perfect opportunity for Bellamy's men to get into the groove of finals football while for Ivan Cleary's side they'll have one eye on the minor premiership with the Broncos giving them a good battle for top spot.
Panthers: One late change for the home side with Lindsay Smith set to start and Moses Leota switching back to the bench. The versatile Zac Hosking has been named to replace Tyrone Peachey (suspended) in the centres in the only main change to the side that beat the Sharks. Izack Tago (leg) dropped out of the extended squad on Thursday and will look to return in Round 24.
Storm: Changes galore for the visitors. Jahrome Hughes (illness) and Xavier Coates (hip) are both out with Jonah Pezet the new halfback and George Jennings coming onto the wing. Nelson Asofa-Solomona's return from a finger injury will be from the bench with Tom Eisenhuth to start and Tyran Wishart coming onto the interchange for Alec MacDonald, who drops out of the 17. Bronson Garlick will be 18th man.
Match: Panthers v Storm
Round 23 -
Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan EdwardsFullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
Winger for Panthers is number 2 Sunia TuruvaWinger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
Centre for Panthers is number 3 Zac HoskingCentre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen CrichtonCentre for Storm is number 4 Young Tonumaipea
Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'oWinger for Storm is number 21 George Jennings
Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome LuaiFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan ClearyHalfback for Storm is number 20 Jonah Pezet
Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-HarrisProp for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch KennyHooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
Prop for Panthers is number 15 Lindsay SmithProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Scott Sorensen2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin2nd Row for Storm is number 14 Tom Eisenhuth
Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah YeoLock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
Interchange for Panthers is number 8 Moses LeotaInterchange for Storm is number 12 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Soni LukeInterchange for Storm is number 16 Tepai Moeroa
Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Matthew EisenhuthInterchange for Storm is number 17 Eliesa Katoa
Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman SalmonInterchange for Storm is number 18 Tyran Wishart
Replacement for Panthers is number 19 Luke GarnerReplacement for Storm is number 19 Bronson Garlick
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein
- The Panthers have won four of their past six games against the Storm since losing the 2020 grand final.
- Storm have won seven of their past nine games against Penrith at BlueBet Stadium.
- The Panthers have not beaten Melbourne twice in a regular season since 2005.
- Hooker Harry Grant has scored six tries in his past six games for the Storm.
- The Panthers have won their past seven games at BlueBet Stadium.
- Storm fullback Nick Meaney has landed 19 of his past 20 attempts at goal.
- Panthers winger Brian To’o has scored 12 tries in his past nine games at BlueBet Stadium.
Match: Panthers v Storm
Round 23 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.