Melbourne sweat on forwards for NRL finals

Melbourne go into their qualifying final against the Eels following a 30-22 loss to the Dragons.
Melbourne go into their qualifying final against the Eels following a 30-22 loss to the Dragons.

Melbourne will sweat on Tui Kamikamica and Max King's finals availability after two of the five regulars they ran out against St George Illawarra fell into trouble.

King faces a nervous wait to see if he is charged by the NRL's match review committee on Monday for a hip-drop tackle in the 30-22 loss.

The tackle drew anger from commentators amid claims there was intent to injure, prompting a staunch rebuttal from Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

With 12 of their first-choice players rested and sitting back in camp on the Sunshine Coast, Kamikamica then also suffered a double whammy.

The forward could also be looked at for a shoulder charge on Dragons debutant Jayden Sullivan after the playmaker had passed the ball.

He then left the field with an ankle injury, with Bellamy fearing that could rule him out of Saturday night's qualifying final against Parramatta.

"I'm not quite sure how bad yet, but there is certainly concern for next week no doubt," Bellamy said.

"Obviously getting Tui injured tonight won't help us. But most clubs have a few guys that are injured.

"For us usually it's not ideal for so many guys to miss the last round together, but we just thought it was the best option for us."

On paper, Saturday's match up at Suncorp Stadium suits the Storm with a ticket to straight to the preliminary final at stake.

Parramatta have not beaten the Storm when they have been anywhere close to full strength since 2012.

Their 18-0 defeat of Melbourne in round 15 came while the Storm were without Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster.

They also had victories over them in 2015 and 2017, but they both came in the week before State of Origin games.

But regardless, this Eels team appear a far different one to years gone by, having sat in the top four since the end of round two.

"We played Parramatta about four weeks ago and they beat us quite convincingly.

"They were one of the real hot teams early in the season after we came back from the break. Them and the Roosters, Penrith have been up there all year.

"We know it's going to be a tough game next week, it's a final. All the finals are going to be tough."

Australian Associated Press