PanthersPEN WIN BY 34
Accor Stadium
CROWD: 35,578

Match Summary



Brian To'o 3'
B. To'o 3'
Brian To'o 20'
B. To'o 20'
Sunia Turuva 27'
S. Turuva 27'
Nathan Cleary 53'
N. Cleary 53'
Dylan Edwards 55'
D. Edwards 55'
Brian To'o 69'
B. To'o 69'
Justin Olam 10'
J. Olam 10'
Nathan Cleary 22'
N. Cleary 22'
Nathan Cleary 29'
N. Cleary 29'
Nathan Cleary 54'
N. Cleary 54'
Nathan Cleary 56'
N. Cleary 56'
Nathan Cleary 70'
N. Cleary 70'
Nathan Cleary 17'
N. Cleary 17'
Nathan Cleary 75'
N. Cleary 75'

Team Stats



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Line Breaks
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Forty Twenty Kicks
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Missed Tackles
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Player Stats

Live Coverage

FULLTIME - Panthers 38 - Storm 4
Just too good tonight from the Panthers. They will meet the winner of the Broncos and Warriors in nine days time.

76' - Panthers 38 - Storm 4
Spencer Leniu called for a knock on coming out of trouble here, but a captain's challenge will reverse this into a strip. Nothing going right here for the Storm. Has been a very difficult night.

76' - Panthers 38 - Storm 4
CONVERSION! Nathan Cleary
Cleary slots the penalty goal.

75' - Panthers 36 - Storm 4
And another penalty here. Marion Seve comes up with a shoulder charge. Panthers to take the shot at 2.

74' - Panthers 36 - Storm 4
This one just starting to wind down a little bit. Penrith pick up a penalty to go back onto the attack though.

71' - Panthers 36 - Storm 4
CONVERSION! Nathan Cleary
Cleary slots it over from out wide.

70' - Panthers 34 - Storm 4
TRY! Brian To'o
An unbelievable run here from Isaah Yeo and the Panthers are in! He sets it up by driving inside 20, breaking a couple of tackles, then Penrith swing it out to the right and Brian To'o is over for his third try of the night untouched.

68' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Storm look absolutely lost here. A really average attacking set before Hughes throws the torpedo down, it's allowed to bounce, Eisenhuth comes up with it and it'll be a handover.

Melbourne challenge though, saying a Panthers player touched the ball. It comes off Olam's shoulder, then Eisenhuth is the only one to get a hand on the ball. Lost challenge.

67' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Panthers back inside 20 though Yeo on the fourth, then it's six again as Kenny goes from dummy half, and surely more points are coming up right here. Or not. Fisher-Harris with a horror play the ball and that will go down as an error.

66' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
This time the short drop out works and the Storm will be able to bring it out of their own end. Before they can get to halfway though, Olam throws a horror offload and To'o comes up with it.

65' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Panthers receive a short drop out that wasn't short enough, and they have it inside 20 on the second play. Cleary an early grubber this time and Seve taps it dead, so another drop out coming here.

63' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
Penrith back to halfway on the first with some expansive play, then they work it up the middle. A shift right brings them inside 20 with a play remaining, and on the last it's Cleary stabbing a grubber and forcing a drop out.

62' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Storm just can't get anything to work for them. A chance to attack here, but then a ball is put down on the right-hand side by Seve.

61' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
And now Penrith make a mistake coming out of their own end. That is just the second time they haven't completed a set tonight.

61' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Storm back to halfway this time on the fourth after the penalty, but metres a real struggle here until Asofa-Solomona gets involved. Hughes throws a high and shallow kick on the last that bounces for Edwards who almost slices his way through the defence on the way back.

60' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
Melbourne now have to bring it out of their own end and oh yes. Brian To'o. Bang. They swing it left and Justin Olam loses it. Absolutely smacked there.

Captain's challenge. Melbourne believe this might have been touched by To'o. And yes, it's off the Penrith winger. Challenge successful.

59' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
The Panthers pushing back onto the attack then after this penalty. Cogger has his first touch on the fifth to set it up, then they go left from Yeo to Cleary and he is tackled. Handover 5 out.

He has been opened up with a cut, then won't give Melbourne the ball, and almost a bit of push and shove. Looks like he was opened up by Josh King in a slightly late shot, and he is going on report. No penalty though.

58' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
Time to wrap Jarome Luai in cotton wool. He heads off as Cogger comes onto the park. That shoulder has stood up, and Luai now gets another nine days before the grand final.

Meanwhile, Penrith pick up another penalty. Huge run from Sorensen to get the Storm back pedalling. He has been outstanding tonight.

57' - Panthers 30 - Storm 4
Cleary slots another conversion over.

56' - Panthers 28 - Storm 4
TRY! Dylan Edwards
The Panthers are just rolling here, and oh they are going to score again! It's two tries in two sets. They were back to halfway, then went straight down the short side. Excellent work from Luai to find Crichton, and he sends Turuva away down the sideline, who then throws a ball back inside for Dylan Edwards, and there is no stopping the fullback from there.

55' - Panthers 24 - Storm 4
CONVERSION! Nathan Cleary
Cleary converts his own try.

54' - Panthers 22 - Storm 4
TRY! Nathan Cleary
The Panthers back over halfway, then Luai goes left, changes to the right, then finds Martin. He shows a massive fend to the defence, flings a pass inside to Cleary and he is away to score! Great support play, excellent set up from Luai and outstanding run from Martin.

Penrith surely going to another grand fnial now.

53' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Again, this arm wrestle continues, but that could change things slightly. A shallow bomb from halfway this time has the Panthers back to within 20 of halfway on the first play.

52' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
This game has broken out into a real arm wrestle here during the start of this second half. Penrith with another tough set back to halfway though and Cleary kicks long down to Meaney who brings it back, finds Smith and he is tackled.

51' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Asofa-Solomona back onto the park to a round of boos, but he needs to bring with him plenty of X-Factor here. Storm back to halfway, a bomb goes up and Turuva takes it well under pressure.

50' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers now looking to bring it out of their own end through the backs, and a very strong run from Edwards gets them rolling, before Sorensen comes up with one of his own and an offload. Penrith almost back to halfway before Cleary kicks under enormous pressure, but what a kick that is. He was almost tackled on his own 40, and instead it dribbles into touch five out from the tryline.

49' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Storm will now have a chance here after that penalty, and they are over halfway on the third with King almost going through off a Munster short ball. Inside 20, then Welch with an offload and a ball to the ground on the left, but Smith manages to save it. Last play, Munster kicks and Luai catches above the pack.

48' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Oh dear. Isaah Yeo. What is he doing? Short drop out that was never going ten, but as it sits up from the bounce, Yeo looked to tap it back and gives away the penalty.

47' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Another solid set from the Storm, but that's followed up by a wonderful break from To'o through the middle. Melbourne then roll to their left and Cleary sets up a repeat set with a long range stabbing grubber kick.

46' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers back to halfway on the fourth as well and the bench forwards looking very strong here. Short side on the last, Luai to Crichton who kicks and Grant comes up with it.

45' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Storm will now instead have to battle out of their own end. A solid set and solid kick to end, but they need more than solid here.

44' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Pabnthers will come back onto the attack here, but a poor end to the set sees them 30 out on the fifth before Cleary bombs again, but Meaney is able to get a boot into the in goal to set up a seven-tackle set and 20 metre resart.

Or do they? Melbourne try to take the quick tap, but a teammate was still in front. As he gets walked back, Penrith challenge. Foot was in the air, so Melbourne will only have a six-tackle set from their own ten-metre line. Great challenge.

43' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
That's super average from Loiero. The Storm get back over halfway, then go left and the second-rower attempts an offload that was never on as Penrith come up with it.

42' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers then will look to be back at their clinical best through the second half and run away with this contest. A solid first set here brings them to halfway, before Cleary kicks down the park with Smith bringing it back to good field position 20 shy of halfway.

41' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Storm need to make a big start to this second half - plenty of intent and energy needed. And that's what they have bringing it back from the opening kick-off with Welch, Katoa and Sims going strongly before Loiero has the Storm to halfway. Meaney takes a carry, and then on the last it's Hughes bombing for the sky. It's batted back, still the last and Munster's offload is picked up by Leniu.

40' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Panthers to kick-off. They are 40 minutes away from a fourth grand final in a row.

40' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Teams back for the second half.

HALFTIME - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers head to halftime with a 14-point buffer at Homebush. They have been absolutely phenomenal in this first half. Handled the pressure every time they have been up against it, but the Storm have shot themselves in the foot over and over again with sloppy execution in attack. Craig Bellamy needs to turn this side around during the break.

40' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
No time for a restart, and that will be halftime at Homebush.

40' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Melbourne now desperately need points before halftime. Nothing happening off the scrum, then King and Katoa are tackled well. Half the set remains as they come left through Hughes and Munster for Meaney but his cut out ball ends up over the sideline.

38' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Storm need to find some points before halftime you feel, even though they have been on the back foot and struggling to get through their sets. Back to halfway on the third, then it's all the way from the right to the left, but Smith can only pick up a handful of metres. Now all the way back to the right and Hughes almost went through. Final play from 30 out as Munster bombs, To'o puts it down and the Storm have a big chance here.

37' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers right onto the attack now after the penalty. Not a great deal happening the first half of the set, then Luai has a go on his own, but is stopped in a last ditch tackle. A very poor play on the next and they wind up back on the 30. Final play, Cleary kicks looking for the right-hand side and a tackle in the air from Tago gives away a penalty.

35' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Harry Grant! Through! No. Nathan Cleary again. He has picked up right where he left off against the Warriors. Picks off a wonderful intercept here.

And now Penrith pick up a penalty.

34' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
The Panthers with a little bit of sloppiness in the middle, but they recover and then shovel it on right with Olam eventually tackling Tago 25 out. Cleary kicks on the last, it's batted back and then a second grubber goes through with the Storm coming up with the ball.

33' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Melbourne now manage to get out of their own end through a Warbrick break after a strong set from Penrith. They then shift it all the way to the left, but the final pass to Smith from Meaney is forward.

The Storm need halftime.

31' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
A better set this time from the Storm, and they are able to come back to halfway before a kick goes down to Edwards on the last.

31' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
Penrith with another strong set after points and Cleary kicks on the last down to Reimis Smith who brings it back.

30' - Panthers 18 - Storm 4
CONVERSION! Nathan Cleary
He slots it from the sideline and Penrith skipping away.

28' - Panthers 16 - Storm 4
TRY! Sunia Turuva
The Panthers now through the forwards as they come back up the middle, starting this set from halfway. Smith and Sorensen with runs before Yeo has them inside 20 on the fourth, with Welch scrambling to hold onto a tackle. Sorensen has a second run on a short ball from Luai, then it's left on the last and they are over again. The Melbourne defence is absolutely appaling here as Cleary holds it up at the line again and sends Turuva in untouched around Seve, Hughes and Warbrick.

27' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
Nathan Cleary goes down the blind side now and picks up a penalty for a second effort in the tackle. Great run from Cleary. Great vision.

26' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
The Storm get into an attacking position off this penalty, and Harry Grant comes up with a beautiful grubber kick into the in goal. The chase lets him down though and Tago comes up with a fantastic effort to get back into the field of play.

25' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
Dylan Edwards now over halfway on the third before the forwards get involved, and they are going to be in position for another attacking kick here the Panthers. Cleary provides from 30 out, but Meaney with a good take, and then he picks up a much-needed penalty.

24' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
The Storm look to be tiring here a little bit - not what you want when you're eight points down. Panthers make easy ground, the Storm though, do not. Hughes has to kick of his own 30 down to Turuva who brings it back.

This is where Penrith's back three take over. They are all so excellent when it comes to yardage.

23' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
That's as good as a set gets post points for the Panthers. Over halfway, a bomb down to the corner and the Storm have to bring it out of there.

23' - Panthers 12 - Storm 4
Nathan Cleary from the sideline, and Penrith are up by eight.

21' - Panthers 10 - Storm 4
TRY! Brian To'o
The Panthers able to come back onto the attack here after another error, this time from Marion Seve, and they are making the most of every opportunity here. Pretty poor defence on that edge yet again, and Brian To'o is over for a second try.

18' - Panthers 6 - Storm 4
PENALTY GOAL! Nathan Cleary
Penrith back in front.

17' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
The Panthers on the attack now after that Melbourne error, and a six again called a play or two into the set right here. Full six again from 20 out, and then to the right, Nelson Asofa-Solomona very, very late on Nathan Cleary. That's massive contact. Both teams come in now for push and shove with Penrith not happy at all.

Is this going to be a sin bin? Cleary had passed the ball before the big prop even started his run.

Nathan Cleary is fine, back up and okay.

Oh and he is going to stay on the field because it was only a push. Both captains being warned over the fact the teams have come together twice in a few minutes.

Asofa-Solomona straight off to the bench nonetheless. Penrith to take a shot at two.

16' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
Ah that's going to hurt Penrith. Jahrome Hughes throws a forward pass out of dummy half trying to find Seve.

15' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
The Panthers struggle to get out of their own end without the assistance of a penalty and Cleary kicks down town to Warbrick.

14' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
Two teams come together with some push and shove after Olam drops that ball, and just as it was looking like it was going to calm down, Asofa-Solomona has a second crack at Luai. All handbags at ten paces by the looks of it so probably no action, although Adam Gee taking an awful long time to separate them before chatting to the skippers.

13' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
So, a strong set after points for the Storm, and that is aided by six again being called close enough to halfway. They are going to be able to rumble onto the attack right here. Inside 20 halfway through the set, and then Loiero almost beats Tago who doesn't look overly confident. The fifth goes badly wrong and Munster is tackled. Last play from centre field, Hughes kicks high, it's batted back by Warbrick, the Storm swing it left and Olam with a bombed try of the century. They had two on one and an easy try. Shocking pass from Loiero.

12' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
All square! Another conversion off the posts.

10' - Panthers 4 - Storm 4
TRY! Justin Olam
The Storm can hit straight back here, but they need to find a way to crack the Penrith defence with a full set from 10 out. Not much happening on the first two, then Meaney stops on the left, runs and almost goes through. Half the set remains, and it's right now from Hughes to Katoa but he is tackled well. Kamikamica nothing going on a crash play, and now on the last they go through the hands and OLAM! What has happened there? He just slices straight through the line almost off a standing start.

Nice ball from Meaney and Olam just cruises through Tago.

9' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
So, a seven-tackle set for the Storm. Back to halfway on the third and they will be able to attack at the end of this set. King and Hughes with good runs, then on the last it's Meaney kicking short side. Edwards flies, but knocks on. Melbourne have a fresh set.

8' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
So, that could flip the game. A good set from Penrith after the penalty, but then Cleary just gets his kick wrong on the last and Seve is able to take that in goal under next to no pressure.

7' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
Melbourne need to find something pretty quickly here, because Penrith are such good front-runners. They get back to halfway as well with Garlick taking a good run, then Kamikamica closes the set before Munster kicks from 40 out down to To'o who is able to bring it back a good ten metres... And he picks up a penalty.

Melbourne's discipline very poor early here.

6' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
Penrith had to go through a bit of pressure early, but taking over the contest now. A strong set after points, back to halfway and Luai does the kicking down to Warbrick.

5' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
Nathan Cleary hits the post.

4' - Panthers 4 - Storm 0
TRY! Brian To'o
The Panthers back over halfway after this penalty and they will have a chance for first points here. 25 out after 4 through Fisher-Harris, then Leota almost goes through the line off a short ball from Yeo. Right on the last and here are the first points. Nathan Cleary and Dylan Edwards just too good there, flinging it out wide for the winger to cross.

3' - Panthers 0 - Storm 0
The Panthers again struggling for metres out of their own end. Melbourne winning the early battle here, but then ruin it by giving away a penalty.

2' - Panthers 0 - Storm 0
Reimis Smith now working away and the Storm up against excellent defence early on too. Both teams appear to have turned up here, with Jahrome Hughes making the first break of the game, but eventually stopped 40 out. Munster kicks high to the corner on the last and To'o is pinned there.

1' - Panthers 0 - Storm 0
Here we go! The preliminary finals are underway. A deep, deep kick-off and Leota brings it out of the ingoal into a ferocious four-man tackle. Melbourne really ripping in early and it takes four plays for Penrith to get beyond the 20 as Sorensen takes it on the left. Cleary will kick from his own 30 at the end of the first set, with Meaney to bring it back.

0' - Panthers 0 - Storm 0
Storm to kick-off.

0' - Panthers 0 - Storm 0
A minute's science before kick-off for Lionel Morgan, the first Indigenous Australian to represent the national team in any major sport.

Teams on their way out at Homebush!

The winner of tonight's game is the first team into next Sunday's grand final. They will play the winner of tomorrow night's second preliminary final between the Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium.

A coolish September evening in Sydney. It's currently 14 degrees and partly cloudy. No rain on the forecast.

Jarome Luai, Jahrome Hughes and Izack Tago are all playing. The only late changes will see Harry Grant and Christian Welch come off the bench again for the Storm, with Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Harry Grant to come from the bench.

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome to Zero Tackle's live coverage of the 2023 NRL finals series. It's preliminary final time, and the first team into the grand final will have their spot booked in just 80 minutes of action as the Penrith Panthers square off with the Melbourne Storm at Homebush.

Team Lists


Ladder Position

Previous 5 Games


9/9/23WarriorsW 32 - 6
2/9/23CowboysW 44 - 12
24/8/23EelsL 18 - 32
19/8/23TitansW 14 - 40
10/8/23Sea EaglesW 12 - 24


15/9/23RoostersW 18 - 13
8/9/23BroncosL 26 - 0
31/8/23BroncosW 22 - 32
26/8/23TitansW 37 - 16
19/8/23DragonsW 28 - 38