<
>

Kikau, Luai clear to play NRL grand final

Penrith stars Viliame Kikau and Jarome Luai are free to play in the NRL grand final after avoiding bans for illegal hits in Saturday night's win over South Sydney.

The pair had nervous overnight waits before receiving the good news from the match review panel deliberations on Sunday morning.

Powerhouse back-rower Kikau was cited for a grade-one shoulder charge over his first-half shot on Souths centre Campbell Graham, but can pay a $3000 fine and play in the grand final against Parramatta next Sunday.

Five-eighth Luai was not charged at all over his high shot on Graham, as the Panthers came from 12-0 down to claim a 32-12 preliminary final victory.

Winger Charlie Staines was the only other Panther charged but he too will be free to play, if Taylan May does not overcome a hamstring injury to retake his position.

Kikau admitted after the win that he had got his tackle on Graham wrong, but when asked if he was concerned about a possible ban he responded: "Not really".

"I got it wrong there. Those stuff happens in games.

"Just getting off the mark trying to lead the team. I got it a bit wrong. Fingers crossed."

The news comes as a massive boost for the Panthers, who will enter their third straight grand final as clear favourites.

Penrith will also wait on the fitness of forward Spencer Leniu, who was clobbered high by Souths winger Taane Milne but seemed well in the sheds after the match.

Milne was sent off over the incident late in the game and now faces a six-match ban that effectively ends his World Cup hopes of playing for Fiji.

Penrith are hopeful they will have rookie winger May back for the grand final.

The 21-year-old missed the preliminary final through suspension, but is in a race against the clock to overcome a hamstring injury suffered in the first weeks of the finals.

"He's some chance. We'll see how he goes," Cleary said.

"Probably by Wednesday we want to make that call."