Fresh Storm wary of battle-hard Panthers

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While Melbourne are in rude health, coach Craig Bellamy says there's merit in Ivan Cleary's claims that his Penrith team are battle-hardened rather than weary ahead of their NRL grand final qualifier.

Melbourne are gunning for their fifth title decider in six years while Penrith are looking for revenge after last year's grand final loss to the Storm.

For the first time this season Bellamy has been able to select a full-strength team for the Suncorp Stadium showdown on Saturday afternoon.

Melbourne's only injury concern, speedster Josh Addo-Carr, has overcome a hamstring issue.

"We've got most of the guys available - basically our strongest side so that's worked out pretty well," Bellamy said on Friday.

"We've had a good preparation this week and the boys really enjoyed the last week off because it was a bit of a mental let-down so I think it's been good."

While the minor premiers were able to put their feet up after their qualifying final win, Penrith were put through a brutal semi-final exchange with Parramatta last weekend.

Cleary said on Friday winger Brian To'o (knee) will play and while second-rower Viliame Kikau (ankle) is in good shape, prop Moses Leota has been ruled out with a recurring calf strain.

To'o sat out the win over the Eels as a precautionary measure but was now raring to go.

"He could have played last week but we actually pulled him out," Cleary said.

"It's going to be a big benefit for him and he looks completely different this week."

Cleary denied his team could struggle to match a fresh Melbourne outfit and had no concerns about fatigue.

"I'm not worried about being tired at all," he said.

"There's been absolutely no signs of that in this team for two years.

"They've gone through a couple of tough encounters and had a few injuries, but there's no signs of tiredness.

"I lean to the side that we're battle-hardened - I definitely feel like we're hardened, physically and mentally."

Bellamy felt the two-week gap was more a mental benefit for his team, and agreed that physically little would split the teams.

"The mental side of it, having a rest is good and we've got the advantage there but obviously they're fairly battle hardened at the moment," the master coach said.

"At times that can be good preparation as well but no-one really knows until Saturday."

Melbourne are in the midst of their first finals series since the retirement of Cameron Smith, who led them to eight grand finals.

Claiming a record-equalling 19 straight wins this season and with Brandon Smith and Harry Grant filling the former skipper's hooking duties with aplomb, it appears like they will also handle the pressure of a preliminary final.

Bellamy said Smith's absence was always going to be felt most in clutch finals but was confident they had covered that.

"We always knew we would miss Cameron in certain situations and I always thought the finals would be a bit of a test for us but we've already played one and handle that OK," he said.

"Our two captains, Dale (Finucane) and Jesse (Bromwich) have done a great job while a lot of other guys have stepped up so I think it's pretty evenly spread."

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