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Is a fairytale finish looming for arguably the greatest player of all time, or will youthful exuberance and confidence take a special group of kids to the top?

Melbourne and Penrith will meet in the 2020 Telstra Premiership decider having been the two best teams all year, finishing second and first respectively.

All eyes are on Storm captain Cameron Smith. Will he retire after a peerless 430 matches across 19 seasons?

He's given nothing away despite the intense interest, but the scenes at Suncorp Stadium after Melbourne's preliminary final win over Canberra were perhaps indicative of a man bidding farewell.

The Panthers are shooting for 18 straight victories, led by star halfback Nathan Cleary and his father, coach Ivan.

Penrith are conceding vast experience to the Storm, but they're yet to be overawed as belief courses through them.

The last time the Panthers played in a grand final was 2003, when they collected the club's second title, while Melbourne have now made four of the past five deciders, losing in 2016 and 2018 and tasting success in 2017.

The rundown

Team news

Panthers: Hooker Api Koroisau insisted his shoulder was fine after Saturday's win over South Sydney despite having to leave the field in the second half. He returned late in the match.

Second-rower Viliame Kikau will return from suspension, likely pushing Kurt Capewell to the bench. Prop Spencer Leniu missed the preliminary final with illness but could come into the selection frame.

Ivan Cleary made the surprise call to drop centre Brent Naden to the bench in favour of utility Tyrone May, stating after the game that he wanted to shore up their right-edge defence. Naden didn't get any minutes and it will be interesting to see where he is named.

Props James Fisher-Harris and Zane Tetevano escaped charges for respective high tackle offences against the Rabbitohs.

Storm: Came through the win against Canberra unscathed, with the club tweeting "everyone is all OK for the grand final".

Bench forward Brandon Smith copped a head knock but was cleared of anything serious. Five-eighth Cameron Munster (knee) made it through the prelim with no dramas, so too Dale Finucane (calf).

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key Match-up

Cameron Smith v Api Koroisau. Smith's controlling influence is still unrivalled and his endless big-game experience - this will be his seventh grand final - could prove crucial. Koroisau's return to Penrith this year has been a key reason for their form and he was immense in the preliminary final, creating constant havoc by jumping from dummy-half.

Stat attack 

Penrith beat Melbourne 21-14 in round six in what was the start of their winning streak. They've gone on to smash their previous club record of nine straight victories. But the Storm have had the wood on the Panthers overall, losing only three games against them since 2006.