Premiers looking to get back into winners’ circle after upset loss to Canberra.
Melbourne Storm have named utility Brett Finch on an extended bench ahead of their clash with with the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium.
Finch’s inclusion could mean Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy could be looking to rest one of his big three stars, with Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith set to go through their annual State of Origin and club workload.
The Storm will be looking to bounce back from their loss last weekend to the Canberra Raiders, who implemented the perfect game plan to taken down the premiers.
The Raiders’ forward pack outgunned their opponents up the middle third of the field and allowed outside backs such as Blake Ferguson to have plenty of time to attack the edges of the Storm backline.
The only change for the Panthers is the injury to Tom Humble (ankle, round 11) with his spot taken bu Isaac John at five-eighth.
PANTHERS: Matt Moylan, Travis Robinson, Lewis Brown, Dean Whare, David Simmons, Isaac John, Luke Walsh, Nigel Plum, Kevin Kingston (capt), Tim Grant, Sika Manu, Matt Robinson, Adam Docker. Interchange: Mose Masoe, Sam Anderson, James Segeyaro, Clint Newton, Nathan Smith (one to be omitted).
STORM: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Mahe Fonua, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (capt), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Tohu Harris. Interchange: Jason Ryles, Junior Moors, Maurice Blair, Brett Finch, Slade Griffin, Lagi Setu, Kenneath Bromwich (three to be omitted).