Huge injury blow for Panthers ahead of prelim

1 month ago 9
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Panthers prop Moses Leota has been ruled out of tomorrow's preliminary final against the Melbourne Storm due to a calf injury.

The club made the announcement 24 hours before the game, and while earlier today coach Ivan Cleary confirmed that both Brian To'o and Villiame Kikau would play, the winger is still only on the extended bench of the updated teamlist.

Of course, that could all be mindgames from the coach, who waxed lyrical about his winger during today's press conference.

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Liam Martin comes into the starting side to replace Leota, with Spencer Leniu the extra forward on the bench.

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It's some awful luck for Penrith, with Leota being a reliable and unsung presence in the middle of the park for them for most of the season.

His presence was sorely missed in the opening week of the post-season, as the Rabbitohs' forward pack dominated the Panthers in a boilover.

He returned for the win over the Eels.

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Penrith go into the clash with Melbourne as outsiders, despite beating them earlier in the season and winning the same amount of games, being pipped to the minor premiership by the Storm on for and against.

Melbourne easily won their second match-up this year, although Penrith were without arguably their five best players in To'o, Isaah Yeo, Nathan Cleary, James Fisher-Harris, and Api Koroisau.

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