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NRL: Storm and Warriors progress to prelims

Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors moved to within one step of the NRL grand final, but still have Penrith Panthers and Brisbane Broncos standing in their way.

It turned out to be a gripping weekend of finals footy with the Storm and Warriors making their way through to the Preliminary finals at the expense of Sydney Roosters and Newcastle Knights.

The game of the weekend had to be Friday night’s clash between the Storm and Roosters, with the home side grabbing a winning try at the death.

Melbourne came out on top 18-13, snatching victory and denying a brave Roosters side a spot in the prelims.

On Saturday it was far more straight forward for the Warriors against a Newcastle side that finally ran out of steam and went down 40-10.

Now it is on to the preliminary finals when both the Storm and Warriors face an even bigger test against a refreshed Broncos and Panthers.

Storm set up Panthers date

Melbourne Storm’s reward for their win over Sydney Roosters is a preliminary final against Penrith, and they will need to raise their game to a whole new level.

Even though they showed great character to come from behind and snatch the win at the death, the Storm were not at their best on Friday night.

After bursting into an early lead, the Roosters fought back and a late Sam Walker field goal put them 13-12 in front with seven minutes remaining.

It looked like it might be enough to take the Roosters through, but cometh the hour cometh the man, as Cameron Munster but up a teasing high kick towards the corner of the Roosters line.

Will Warbrick rose like a salmon to gather the ball, twist and touch it down for a try before Nick Meaney slotted the conversion.

There was huge relief all around AAMI Park, but everyone connected with the Storm will know they will need to be at their very best against Penrith.

It may not have been pretty but at least they were able to get the job done and there is all to play for at BlueBet Stadium in the first preliminary final on Friday.

The Panthers are priced at 1.21 to win the match, with Melbourne Storm available at 4.50 to cause an upset.

Johnson stars in Warriors win

Shaun Johnson has had an outstanding season with the Warriors and was at his best once again as they thumped the Knights in Auckland.

The Warriors were at their best with seven different try scorers and it was Johnson that provided assists for two of them.

Johnson will need to be at his absolute best once again if the Warriors are to overcome the Broncos in the second preliminary final on Saturday.

The Warriors can be backed at 3.85 to cause an upset, with the Broncos available at 1.27 to book their place in the grand final.

Panthers and Broncos grand final looks likely

Despite the Storm and Warriors both doing amazingly well to make it through to the preliminary finals, the winner of the grand final still looks set to come from Penrith or Brisbane.

They have been the stand-out teams of the season so far and looked comfortable when easing through to the prelims.

It is going to take a mammoth effort from Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors to upset the apple cart.

The Broncos and Panthers will be rested and raring to go and will also have home advantage on their side.

The Panthers can be backed at 2.00 to win the grand final, with the Broncos available at 2.70.

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