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Broncos half Reynold firmly in Storm sights

Chief Brisbane playmaker Adam Reynolds has a target on his back with Melbourne set to send giant enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona his way in Friday’s NRL qualifying final.

The Storm used the same tactic last year in round 23, although that time Ezra Mam was Melbourne’s mark, with the Broncos five-eighth missing 10 tackles. Star Storm No.6 Cameron Munster said Brisbane obviously missed Reynolds in their clash last round, which Melbourne won 32-22 to stretch their domination over the Broncos to 14 games straight.

Reynolds has sat out the Broncos’ past two matches with a calf injury but is back on deck for the Suncorp Stadium clash to help his team rebound after the loss cost them the minor premiership.

The game will be Brisbane’s first finals appearance since 2018, while the Storm are lining up for their 13th straight post-season campaign.

“Reynolds is the organiser and the young guys are the risk-takers who bring the X-factor – Ezra Mam, Reece Walsh – so he steers the ship around,” Munster said on Tuesday.

“He’s got a good kicking game and that’s what they’ve been lacking the last couple of years as they’ve always had the talent but needed someone to steer them in the right direction.

“He will be someone that we will be obviously watching out for and we’ll try and get as many big bodies like Nelson (Asofa-Solomona) at him as possible to take his space away.”

Despite Melbourne’s winning run over Brisbane stretching back to 2016, Munster felt it wasn’t baggage carried by the current crop of young Broncos players.

“There’s a rivalry when it comes to the Broncos, going back to Craig Bellamy, John Ribot and Chris Johns who came from Brisbane but it’s a record and all records are meant to be broken,” he said.

“We need to go out and play our style of footy and not focus on the history books.

“Most of their players haven’t been around the Storm teams who have won so many times at Suncorp, they wouldn’t know too much about the history.”

Both teams have made a swag of changes from last Thursday’s game.

The Storm welcome back Jahrome Hughes (knee) and Harry Grant (shoulder) while Ryan Papenhuyzen will play a roving role off the bench.

As well as Reynolds returning, coach Kevin Walters has named a full-strength side with lock Pat Carrigan also overcoming a foot injury.