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NRL: Penrith Panthers take on Melbourne Storm

Penrith Panthers versus Melbourne Storm could turn out to be the dress rehearsal for the 2023 NRL grand final when the two sides clash on Friday night.

The Panthers once again look the team to beat this season as they go in search of their third consecutive premiership.

They currently sit in top spot on the ladder, but the Storm have the know-how to win a grand final and will be out to upset the party.

Craig Bellamy’s side need to hold on to fourth spot to boost their chances of going all the way and a victory over the Panthers would go a long way towards securing it.

There are five games of the regular season remaining and the Panthers versus the Storm does not get much bigger as there is no love lost between these two sides.

Another epic battle could be on the cards at the foot of the mountains.

WhatPenrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm
WhereSydney
When20:00 (AEST) Friday 4th August, 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsPenrith Panthers 1.36, Melbourne Storm 3.20

Panthers the team to beat

The Panthers look to be peaking at just the right time once again after winning their last five games on the bounce.

Holding Cronulla Sharks to nil in a 28-0 victory last weekend was very impressive to say the least and they will be out to keep the good run going against the Storm.

The two sides did meet at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne back on 30th June and the Panthers left with the points when picking up a 34-16 victory.

Back on home soil they will be confident of repeating the win and can be backed at 5.50 to win by 16-20 points.

The Panthers have made their home stadium a fortress having won their last seven games there and they have beaten the Storm four out of the last six times they have met.

However they have not beaten Melbourne Storm twice in a regular season since way back in 2005, and that is something they will be keen to put right. They may not get a better chance.

Winger Brian To’o is sure to be a threat after scoring 12 tries in his last nine home games, and is priced at 7.00 to grab the first try of the game.

Storm search for consistency

Melbourne sit fourth on the ladder but they need to find some consistency if they are to challenge Penrith for the Premiership.

They can be backed at 7.50 win the grand final but the Panthers remain the hot fancies at 2.40, with Brisbane Broncos 4.25.

The Storm have a great record at the home of the Panthers, winning seven of the past nine games there, so the venue and opposition will hold no fear.

Bellamy’s side should also be full of confidence after beating the Parramatta Eels by 30 points at the weekend.

Hooker Harry Grant seems to be the man of the moment after scoring six tries in the last six games, and can be backed at 4.25 to score at anytime on Friday night.

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