Storm blows up ladder as Panthers struggle
MELBOURNE kept its top four hopes alive with a 24-10 win against a struggling Penrith side in slippery conditions last night.
The Storm (5th) has now moved to within two points of the fourth-placed Panthers, who now have the task of winning at Brookvale next week to keep their finals second chance alive.
At half time the Panthers trailed 10-6 but the Storm opened up in the second stanza with a 14-point burst.
Melbourne is finding its momentum at the right time and last night's result means it has won 13 of the past 14 against the league improvers.
To their credit the Panthers continued to press but they were not helped by the slippery conditions or a determined Storm side and could not breakthrough for the points they needed.
The Panthers also felt the loss of hooker James Segeyaro who was initially cleared of an ankle injury to play but had to miss the clash after having to fly to Papua New Guinea following the death of his father.
MELBOURNE 24 (Koroibete, Chambers, Roberts, Slater tries; Smith 4 goals) defeated PENRITH 10 (Watene-Zelezniak, Idris tries; Soward goal). Half-time: 10-6. Crowd: 8994.