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Panthers v Storm: Injured stars confirmed to play; Garlick called in

Three years after their thrilling 26-20 grand final clash, the Storm and Panthers prepare to face off in a preliminary final at Accor Stadium.

It was Melbourne who came out on top in the 2020 decider but it proved to be the game that ignited the Penrith dynasty as the defending champions and minor premiers head to Homebush as hot favourites.

After humbling the Warriors 32-6 in the first week of the play offs, Penrith find themselves well rested and just 80 minutes from creating history as they look to claim a third straight premiership.

Meanwhile, the Storm booked their ticket in the Preliminary Finals — as they have done in their past eight out of nine seasons — with a last gasp victory over the Roosters on Friday.

The Melbourne powerhouse have already ridden the highs and lows of finals footy and will head to Accor battle-hardened after keeping their season alive with a 79th minute try, seven days after a demoralising 26-0 defeat to the Broncos.

Craig Bellamy's side are no strangers to the men from the mountains, having met them on seven occasions since 2020 but it's the Panthers with the wood on Storm having come out on top in five of those matches.

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Team News

Panthers: The premiers are 1-17 with no late changes. Five-eighth Jarome Luai (shoulder) and centre Izack Tago (pectoral) are both back on deck in a boost for the Panthers. Luai has missed the past two matches after dislocating his shoulder against the Eels in Round 26 but will definitely play after coach Ivan Cleary confirmed the news on Thursday. Jack Cogger and Luke Garner go back to the interchange bench while Zac Hosking goes to the reserves and Tyrone Peachey to 18th Man. Nathan Cleary suffered a finger injury at training on Monday but has been named at halfback and will play.

Storm: Late changes an hour before kick-off with Bronson Garlick to start the game at hooker in jersey No.19 and Harry Grant going to the bench. Nelson Asofa-Solomona will also start, pushing Christian Welch to the bench. Tyran Wishart has dropped back to 18th Man. 

Halfback Jahrome Hughes returns from a calf injury but Xavier Coates (ankle) remains sidelined so Reimis Smith retains his spot on the wing. Forward Tui Kamikamica (head knock) has been included in the run-on side.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Panthers is number 2 Sunia Turuva
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
  • Centre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
  • Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Reimis Smith
  • Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes


  • Prop for Panthers is number 8 Moses Leota
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
  • Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
    Hooker for Storm is number 19 Bronson Garlick
  • Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
    Prop for Storm is number 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Scott Sorensen
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
  • 2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
  • Lock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King


  • Interchange for Panthers is number 14 Jack Cogger
    Interchange for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Lindsay Smith
    Interchange for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tom Eisenhuth
  • Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Luke Garner
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tariq Sims


  • Replacement for Panthers is number 18 Tyrone Peachey
    Replacement for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Stat Attack

  • The Panthers have won their past seven finals matches.
  • The Panthers have won four of their past five games against the Storm.
  • The Storm have won five of their past six games at Accor Stadium.
  • The Storm’s Craig Bellamy will coach his 50th finals game.
  • Panthers centre Stephen Crichton has scored four tries in his past five games against the Storm.
  • Harry Grant runs from dummy-half more than any other player in the NRL, at an average of 6.6 per game. 

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.

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.