Jarome Luai shoulder injury, Broncos v Panthers, will he be targeted in defence? Payne Haas, Patrick Carrigan – TOTOCC

Penrith star Jarome Luai made a courageous return from injury last weekend but he could be in for a long night against Brisbane in the grand final on Sunday.

Luai came two weeks early from a dislocated shoulder in the preliminary final against Melbourne, but was hardly targeted in defence.

That will almost certainly change in the grand final with Broncos’ star middle forwards Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan set to run at Luai’s suspect shoulder.

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The NRL 360 panel said Brisbane’s big men will be a totally different beast to the Storm’s injury ravaged pack.

“It was incredibly brave and remarkable that four weeks after dislocating your shoulder you’re out there playing,” Paul Crawley said.

“But I would say that I don’t think he received as much traffic as he probably will this week against a Broncos side that is going to be way ahead of what the Storm turned on last week.

“Nelson finished with what, 36 metres last week. Luai didn’t have the pressure on him that the Broncos are going to put on him. But it was an incredible performance.”

Braith Anasta praised Luai’s early return but journalist Dave Riccio also believes the No. 6 could be in for a world of pain unless he gets support in defence.

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“The Storm pack is depleted and it doesn’t compare to what the Broncos can throw at Jarome Luai and the job of Scott Sorensen on Luai’s side to help protect Luai will be pivotal on Sunday night,” Riccio said.

“Because I agree, I just don’t think the Melbourne Storm did a good enough job at exposing a weakness in the Panthers’ lineup.”

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