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Player ratings for the Melbourne Storm team in their Telstra Premiership preliminary final clash with the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium.

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen: Scored the try that gave Melbourne hope with 18 minutes to play, collecting Cameron Munster's desperation chip. Kept quiet early by the Penrith kickers but worked his way into the game and opened up the Panthers defence with a run that almost put Justin Olam over. 7.5/10

2. George Jennings: Defused a number of bombs and repeatedly showed up for the tough carries, churning out 160 metres. Dropped a bomb in the lead-up to Stephen Crichton's try and spilled the ball with the line wide open shortly after. 5.5

3. Reimis Smith: Feisty but three handling errors added to Melbourne's struggles in attack. Ran for just 57 metres. 4

4. Justin Olam: Repeated hard charges stressed the Penrith defence (16 carries for 160 metres) and should have had a try backing up a Papenhuyzen bust but brought down right on the line.  7

5. Josh Addo-Carr: Elusive as always with one excellent kick return in the first half. Piled up the metres (13 carries for 139m) but was never in a position to turn his pace into points. 6

Grant, Munster and Papenhuyzen combine to get the Storm right back in it

6. Cameron Munster: Famed big-game player couldn't deliver. He did set up Papenhuyzen's try but his kicking was erratic and while he ran for plenty of metres he couldn't produce a bust of consequence. 6

7. Jahrome Hughes: Melbourne's best by some margin. Carved up the Panthers with 150 run metres in the first half (202 total) and produced a brilliant cut-out ball that should have been rewarded with a Jennings try. Also pulled off a try-saver on Brian To'o in the first half. 8

8. Jesse Bromwich: Active in defence but rationed to just eight runs which produced 70 metres. 5.5

9. Brandon Smith: Pulled off a 20/40 kick but injury saw him limited to 15 minutes after he failed a HIA. 4

10. Christian Welch: In the thick of the action early but was gone even quicker than Smith, playing just eight minutes before failing a HIA. 3

11. Felise Kaufusi: Combined with his back-row mate to get through a mountain of defence, tallying 40 tackles of his own, but produced only five runs and 37 metres with a drop in attack. 5.5

12. Kenny Bromwich: Ran and tackled hard. Topped the tackle count for Melbourne with 44 and churned out 81 metres in 11 carries. Earned a repeat set with a clever grubber in the first half. 7

13. Dale Finucane: Cost Melbourne a try when he took out a defender to deny Nelson Asofa-Solomona a try. Ran hard (19 carries for 159m) and was busy as usual in defence. 6.5

Brandon Smith kicks the first 20/40. In a preliminary final no less.

Interchange

14. Harry Grant: Called into the fray early and while busy out of dummy-half didn't always take the right option, being caught by the marker when trying to run more than once. Threw himself into his defensive duties, his 43 tackles ranking second for Melbourne, but he missed an equal team-high five. 6.5

15. Tui Kamikamica: Stepped up when asked to play more minutes by the loss of Brandon Smith and Welch, racking up the metres (153m from 17 runs) with a succession of hard charges.  6.5

16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona: Devastating ball-runner who monstered the Panthers defence with a succession of huge carries (18 for 153m) and was just as physical in defence. 6.5

17. Nicho Hynes: Held back until well into the second half when he was introduced to provide some spark for the desperate Storm. Didn't do much wrong but couldn't find a match-turning play in his 26 minutes. 5

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