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

1. Dylan Edwards: Was safe at the back and dangerous through the middle. He already had four tackle breaks with the game only a quarter gone. He ended up with seven by full-time, alongside 203 running metres, and two offloads. Brought down Jahrome Hughes in perfect fullback's cover tackle. 8.5/10

2. Stephen Crichton: Scored the opening try (his 10th for the year), and then helped hold up Justin Olam over the Panthers line. Crunched Olam again early in the second half to stop another attacking raid. Made a decisive run late to get the Panthers off their line. 8

3. Paul Momirovski: Playing against his former teammates didn't intimidate him as made six tackle busts and was reliable in defence. Ran for 104 metres off 17 runs. 6.5

4. Matt Burton: Made a try-saving tackle on Jahrome Hughes midway through the first half, and busted out of six tackles. Has great acceleration from a standing start to create space for himself and teammates. 7

21. Brian To'o: Took the Panthers' first hit-up to show everyone he'd shaken off the ankle injury. Topped the metres with 217 and made 59 post-contact metres.  Nearly scored twice in the left corner in the first half and made it third time lucky, just two minutes into the second. Got the ball back into the field of play and proved a game-changer. 9

That slick Panthers attack kicks into gear for To'o to finish

6. Jarome Luai: Collected the forearm of Munster close to half-time to force him to undergo an HIA test. But he emerged full of pep in the second to handle in the To'o try and leap high to retrieve a Nathan Cleary kick, although he was ruled off-side. Had the last possession of the game to round off a solid effort. 7

7. Nathan Cleary: His first kick – a bomb – resulted in a repeat set on the Storm line. His second kick – to the corner – set up the Panthers' first try to winger Steve Crichton. His kick metres (616) came off 16 kicks to terrorise Melbourne. His only blemish was being placed on report for a lifting tackle on Kenny Bromwich. 8.5

16. Tevita Pangai jnr: Limited opportunities with only 18 minutes of game time and five runs. 4

9. Apisai Koroisau: Racked up 25 tackles after 40 minutes and repeated the effort for 50 for the match. Crafty and speedy runs up-field from dummy-half kept the momentum with his side as he broke out of three tackles. He's the only premiership-winner in the side with his 2014 ring with South Sydney. 8.5

10. James Fisher-Harris: Lovely offload 10 metres out from the Storm line almost produced a try in the left corner. It was one of three for the game as he teased the defence. The starch in his tackles dislodged the ball a couple of times to keep Storm's error rate climbing. Earns an extra half-point for his courage in giving Cameron Munster a spank on the backside in a tackle. 8

17. Liam Martin: Lion-hearted throughout. Survived head-high contact from both Jahrome Hughes and Reimis Smith in the same tackle. Hard runner and relentless defender, making 46 tackles. 7.5

12. Kurt Capewell: Was a tackling machine early, then made a good line break to announce his presence on the right edge. Wrapped up Papenhuyzen in a one-on-one tackle then scrambled with Crichton to deny Justin Olam. Lost the ball cold late in the game to give coach Ivan Cleary heart palpitations but earns another grand final. 8

13. Isaah Yeo: Solid as a rock in every facet: defence (38 tackles), creativity and attack (19 runs, 123 metres). His field coverage is one of the reasons it took the Storm 62 minutes to score a try. 8.5


11. Viliame Kikau: Came off the bench after only nine minutes, replacing Liam Martin (head knock) and showed no signs of his injured ankle. Gave the last pass for the To'o try, had a line-break assist and 48 post-contact metres. He failed to snuffle a Cameron Munster kick to stop Ryan Papenhuyzen's try, but solid everywhere else – even put in a grubber late to keep the Storm pinned close to their line. 7.5

14. Tyrone May: Introduced late in in the first half as Luai's replacement, to partner best mate Cleary in the halves. Stayed on when Luai returned for only 26 minutes all-up but always eager for work. 5.5

15. Scott Sorensen: Like Capewell, missed the Sharks 2016 grand final (extended bench) but worked hard to come back from a dislocated wrist to earn a spot in the season decider. Came up with some big defensive plays late in the game as the Storm surged. 6

19. Spencer Leniu: Always made a few metres with his carries but only played 11 minutes. 4

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

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