AT A GLANCE
When? Saturday 10th March, 10:05 (UK)
Where? Perth Stadium
What channel is it on? Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm will not be televised live in the UK
Where can I stream the match?
Are tickets still available? https://tickets.nrl.com/double...
Head Coach: Dean Pay
Starting 13: Mbye, B. Morris, J. Morris, Hopoate, Montoya, Frawley, Foran, Woods, Lichaa, Klemmer, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Fualalo – Interchanges (from): Elliott, Tolman, Eastwood, Marshall-King, Fine, Holland, Tualau, Olive
- Canterbury Bulldogs finally parted ways with Des Hasler after a turbulent couple of seasons in charge with Dean Pay taking over for the 2018 season.
- Pay will have to cope with some big losses to the side from last season with Sam Kasiano, James Graham and Josh Reynolds all leaving the club. They have brought in Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran with both having big shoes to fill.
- The Bulldogs’ obvious weakness in 2017 came with their attacking play, scoring just 15 points per game and that will be the key focus for their new coach in 2018 as they look to improve on their 11th place finish.
Head Coach: Craig Bellamy
Starting 13: Munster, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Jacks, Croft, J. Bromwich, C. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Kaufusi, Hoffman, Finucane – Interchanges (from): Glasby, K. Bromwich, Welch, Joe Stimson, Tonumaipea, Kamikamica, Kasiano, Walters
Unavailable: Billy Slater, Sandor Earl, Jahrome Hughes
- Melbourne Storm were imperious last season with comparisons made to some of the greatest sides of all time as they claimed both the minor Premiership and Premiership in a brilliant year.
- Head coach Craig Bellamy will have to work his magic once again as he looks to cope with the loss of halfback Cooper Cronk as well as some other big names in Tohu Harris and Jordan McLean. Youngster Brodie Croft has been given the nod to attempt to fill Cronk’s boots as the Storm look to go for back-to-back Premiership wins.
- Melbourne posted some impressive figures last season as they scored the most points (633), averaging 26.4 points per game. They also conceded the fewest points (336) with an average of just 13.3 points against per game.
Melbourne are once again one of the favourites to claim the NRL crown this season as they look to retain their title and begin their defence in the second game of the double header in Perth. They come up against a Canterbury side that must cope with some big personnel losses with new head coach Dean Pay facing a tough job. The Storm are without Billy Slater in this game which will test their squad depth but will still have enough to begin their 2018 campaign with a win.