The two teams who have battled out premiership favouritism all season meet in a red-hot opener to Round 22 even with key playmakers missing on each side.
The money has come for Melbourne early even with Jahrome Hughes missing. Penrith are very hard to beat at home with 16 covers in their last 21 at home off conceding 12 or fewer and 19 covers in their last 27 at home off a win. Melbourne have covered 21 of 31 off scoring 30-plus and the Storm cover at 67% off a win.
There is a lean to the Storm getting more than a try but this is a game where finding the winner is not easy.
There is a quality play though and that is on the under.
The Storm’s scoring drops significantly with no Ryan Papenhuyzen and will take a bigger hit with no Jahrome Hughes. The Panthers have their own concerns with both halves missing.
Eight of the last 10 matches have failed to surpass 38 points while 15 of the last 23 have gone under the total. The under is 18-12 when the Panthers are off a win of 20 or more while it has hit in three straight Storm road games.
The total here looks far too high at 40.5.
Same Game Multi
Brian To’o has scored six tries in his last seven games and has scored three tries in his last five games against the Storm.
David Nofoaluma did not score on debut for the Storm but does have eight tries in 12 games prior with the Tigers.
Cameron Munster comes off a hat-trick against the Titans and he will be a run-first half this week with so many playmakers out. He now has 10 tries in 17 games this year, his best return.
Play Betseeker Bingo for NRL Tryscorers at TopSport! Here are this week’s selections.
At least six of the following eight players to score a try in NRL Round 22.
At least four of the following eight players to score a try in NRL Round 22.