Prelim final teams: Nathan cleared after training mishap as Luai firms for return, Hughes half a chance, Johnson on track


Penrith are confident a finger injury will not rule Nathan Cleary out of the preliminary final against Melbourne, after the star halfback was hurt in a training incident.

Teams have been named for the preliminary finals and after Cleary sent a scare through the Panthers camp on Monday morning, he has been named in his customary No.7 jersey.

Panthers officials sent Cleary to hospital for precautionary scans but they cleared the 25-year-old of any significant injury so he will face the Storm on Friday night at Accor Stadium.

Fellow playmaker Jarome Luai is still in doubt for the clash. Luai is firming to play in the preliminary final, with a full-contact opposed session on Wednesday likely to be crucial in his bid to return from injury.

After dislocating his shoulder four weeks ago against Parramatta, he has been named at five-eighth with Jack Cogger on the interchange.

Luai and Cleary have won 83 of 94 games they have started together in the halves since their days in U20s, having combined for both Penrith and NSW State of Origin.

Centre Izack Tago has also overcome a pectoral injury to be named by Panthers coach Ivan Cleary.

Storm half Jahrome Hughes is pushing to make a return from a calf injury in the preliminary final showdown with Penrith but and Xavier Coates (ankle) is out again.

They each sat out Friday night’s 18-13 semi-final thriller against the Sydney Roosters.

“I’m tracking really well,” Hughes said on Monday. “I don’t need to really rush anything, just give myself enough time to get it right. I probably gave the physio a bit of a headache last week because I told him I was all sweet but he obviously didn’t think so,

“The thing that I don’t want to do is go out there underdone. If I don’t get through the game, it puts my team under pressure so I’ll make sure I’m ready to go before going out there. I didn’t train much at all last week.”

The Warriors and Broncos have no injury concerns for the their grand final qualifier at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

>>>> All you need to know about NRL Finals

Star half Shaun Johnson is on light training duties again after making it through the semi-final win over Newcastle unscathed when he made a comeback from a calf problem.

The NRL has dropped leading referee Ashley Klein after he received criticism for two pivotal calls in Melbourne’s semi-final defeat of the Sydney Roosters. He will not preside over either of the preliminary finals this week but has been listed as the bunker official for Brisbane’s match against the Warriors on Saturday.

Gerard Sutton will referee the Broncos vs Warriors game after Klein’s demotion while Adam Gee, who is now the favourite to control the Grand Final, will be the whistleblower for the Panthers vs Storm clash.

Preliminary finals teams

Penrith vs Storm – at Accor Stadium, 7.50pm on Friday, September 22

Odds: Panthers $1.18, Storm $4.85, courtesy of PlayUp

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Jack Cogger 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner 18. Tyrone Peachey 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Zac Hosking 21. Luke Sommerton 22. Thomas Jenkins

Jarome Luai (shoulder) is hopeful of making a return but coach Ivan Cleary may delay his comeback until the Grand Final if he can’t handle contact training and if the premiers make it that far. At this stage he’s in with Jack Cogger on the bench.

Nathan Cleary picked up a finger injury at training but the team is confident he will be able to take on the Storm.

Young centre Izack Tago (pectoral) missed the qualifying final win over the Warriors but he has been named to replace Luke Garner out wide with the ex-Wests Tigers utility back on the interchange.

Zac Hosking and Tyrone Peachey have been relegated to the reserves.

Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Reimis Smith 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17. Tariq Sims 18. Grant Anderson 19. Bronson Garlick 20. Sualauvi Faalogo 21. Tepai Moeroa 22. Chris Lewis

Kiwi half Jahrome Hughes (calf) is considered likely to play but Maroons winger Xavier Coates (ankle) and centre Young Tonumaipea (head wound) are still sidelined.

Tyran Wishart returns to the interchange with Hughes back, meaning Bronson Garlick is in the reserves.

Fiji prop Tui Kamikamica will need to pass the concussion protocols to play after copping a head knock late in the win over the Roosters.

Shaun Johnson scores a try. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Broncos vs Warriors – at Suncorp Stadium, 7.50pm on Saturday, September 23

Odds: Broncos $1.27, Warriors $3.80, courtesy of PlayUp

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Corey Oates 19. Martin Taupau 20. Corey Jensen 21. Jock Madden 22. Tristan Sailor

Kevin Walters’ side is injury free so he is rolling out the same 17 who thrashed Melbourne in the first match of the finals.

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Bunty Afoa 22. Ali Leiataua 23. Edward Kosi

Shaun Johnson will be on limited training duties but is a near certainty to play. Josh Curran dislocated his finger and Marate Niukore copped a bump to his knee in the win over Newcastle but they are good to go.

with AAP

#Prelim #final #teams #Nathan #cleared #training #mishap #Luai #firms #return #Hughes #chance #Johnson #track

Leave a Comment