It's week 3 of the 2020 NRL finals and we are down to the final four teams. Can the two teams from outside the Top 4 cause upsets this weekend and advance to the Grand Final or will it be the Storm and Panthers in the big dance? Both games promise to be exciting contests with plenty of attacking weapons on show.
Friday, October 16
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Reserves: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nicholas Hynes 18. Dale Finucane 19. Paul Momirovski 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Chris Lewis
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemi 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Tom Starling 10. Iosia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine
Reserves: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Sam Williams 19. Matthew Timoko 20. Ryan Sutton 21. Michael Oldfield
Verdict: The Raiders found their form last week to upset the reigning premiers in a polished performance which would have pleased coach Ricky Stuart. The Raiders forwards were inspiring and halves George Williams and Jack Wighton took advantage of their go-forward. The Storm have rested, enter this game with a wealth of big game experience, and have the possibility of Cameron Smith's retirement spurring them on. This game will be decided in and around the ruck, with Cameron Smith's mastery of that area giving the Storm a huge advantage. The Raiders are desperate to go one better than last season and if they can at least come out even in the middle, they could have the edge to win it through their halves and edge runners.
Tip: Raiders by 6
Saturday, October 17
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Reserves: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano 18. Mitch Kenny 19. Dean Whare 20. Matt Burton 21. Jack Hetherington
Rabbitohs: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su'A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray
Reserves: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Keaon Koloamatangi 18. Steven Marsters 19. Hame Sele 20. Troy Dargan 21. Patrick Mago
Verdict: The Rabbitohs have been on a hot streak for some weeks now and despite a six-minute aberration last week where the Eels ran in 18 points, they have been the form side of the finals. The Panthers have been the form side of the season, with their last loss just a distant memory. This game will be a real battle between two very talented spines. Hookers Damien Cook and Api Koroisau, halves Nathan Cleary and Adam Reynolds and five-eighths Jarome Luai and Cody Walker are among 2020's best players, and not just in their pivotal positions. It will be up to the forward packs to determine which spine will be most effective, with the Panthers riding a wave of confidence so high that they should come out on top, even without suspended backrower Viliame Kikau.
Tip: Panthers by 10