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Player ratings for the Melbourne Storm team in their Telstra Premiership qualifying final clash with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen: Found form in a big way last week and kept it going with a scything run to score just before half-time. Completed his double in fine style after the break. Seven goals and a long-range field goal gave him a 24-point haul. 8.5

2. George Jennings: Particularly busy in the second half, finishing the game with 96 metres from 12 runs in a happy return from a knee injury. 7.5

3. Reimis Smith: Limited attacking involvement with seven runs for 68 metres but did his job in defence, making 12 tackles with no misses. 7

4. Justin Olam: Devastating line break led to Papenhuyzen's double and killed off any hope Manly had after half-time. His late try capped off the win. Had the wood over opposite number Morgan Harper, who endured a tough outing. 7.5

Papenhuyzen breaks through on the left edge for Melbourne

5. Isaac Lumelume: Had enough speed to outpace Jason Saab and score the opener, but conceded a pair of tries to his rival winger by failing to defuse kicks. Solid overall, leading the back five for metres (125). 7

6. Cameron Munster: Energetic as the Storm launched an early assault. Recorded two try assists by running the ball on the last tackle. A cheeky one-on-one strip and successful captain's challenge laid the groundwork for another four-pointer. 8.5

Brandon Smith sends Welch crashing over

7. Jahrome Hughes: Professional as always. Troubled the opposition big men with his footwork when he challenged the defence. 7

8. Jesse Bromwich: Strong from the outset, repeatedly finding his front with the ball and generating momentum. Very rarely is he dominated. 8

9 Brandon Smith: Best on ground until a head knock curtailed his night after 18 minutes. Swooped on an error to set up Lumelume for the opening try and delivered a sublime face ball to send Welch over. Had to mark him down because of limited game time. 7.5

10. Christian Welch: A sensational prop's performance. Set the tone and recorded more metres (153) than any other forward. Rewarded with a rare meat pie in the first half, running a hard line to bisect Jake Trbojevic and Marty Taupau. 9

11. Felise Kaufusi: Quietly went about his business at a high quality and nullified his opponents, making 20 tackles without a miss. 7

12: Kenny Bromwich: Bustled his way to a try in the ninth minute. Attacking involvement was relatively limited (seven runs) but he was a leader in the effort areas and clocked up 29 tackles. 7.5

Asofa-Solomona offloads after contact for Olam

13. Dale Finucane: A typically willing display from the co-captain, who ended up with 115 metres. Personifies what it means to lead with your actions. 8


14. Harry Grant: All class. Maintained Smith's standard at dummy-half, showing off his swag of skills in an accomplished 65-minute effort. 8

15. Tui Kamikamica: Big, powerful, dynamic - everything you want in a bench forward. Helped ensure Melbourne continued to own the middle third. 7.5

Papenhuyzen finishes it with a two-point field goal

16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona: Worked wonderfully in tandem with Kamikamica, using his size and strength to great effect. Such a weapon off the interchange. Lovely offload to provide Olam with a try. 8

17. Nicho Hynes: Victory was sewn up by the time he came on. Still gave a good account of himself in a 24-minute stint, slotting seamlessly into a playmaking position. 6.5


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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