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15 Jun 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Sunday 17th June, 05:00 (UK)

Where? McDonald Jones Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Newcastle Knights vs Melbourne Storm will not be televised live in the UK
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available?
http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/newcastle-knights-v-melbourne-storm-newcastle-new-south-wales-17-06-2018/event/1300543DC5EF830E?artistid=1109827&majorcatid=10004&minorcatid=695

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

KNIGHTS

Head Coach: Nathan Brown

Starting 13: Ponga, Sio, S. Mata'utia, Denniss, Kenny-Dowall, Watson, Cogger, Ese’ese, Griffin, King, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra – Interchanges: Levi, Heighington, Yates, Lillyman – Reserves: Meaney, Stone, Lamb, Naden

Unavailable: Tautau Moga, Mitchell Pearce, Jacob Saifiti, Nathan Ross, Daniel Saifiti, Jamie Buhrer

  • Newcastle couldn’t rally enough late on to claim the win over Sydney Roosters last week. With five minutes left, the Knights were eight points down and despite getting to within two points, they couldn’t get themselves on level terms or ahead as they went down 16-18.

  • Nathan Brown makes one enforced change to his 17 from last week with Jamie Buhrer suffering a torn meniscus. Luke Yates takes his place on the bench.

  • Newcastle have won just one of their last six games and have also lost their last four games on home soil.

STORM

Head Coach: Craig Bellamy

Starting 13: Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Jacks, Glasby, C. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, F. Kaufusi, Hoffman, K. Bromwich – Interchanges: B. Smith, Welch, Stimson, Hughes – Reserves: Tonumaipea, Kasiano, P. Kaufusi, Blair

Unavailable: Sandor Earl, Dale Finucane, Jesse Bromwich, Billy Slater

  • Melbourne ended the game strongly as they saw off a tough Brisbane side. The Storm scored two tries in the final 15 minutes to seal the win and keep up the pressure on the top 4 with a 32-16 win.

  • Billy Slater was named to make his return but he has been withdrawn with the Storm yet to name his replacement at fullback. Curtis Scott and Will Chambers return in the centres but Jesse Bromwich will miss at least a month with a hamstring injury.

  • Melbourne have won six of their last eight games but only have a 50% win ratio from their six matches away from home this season.

THE PREDICTION

Newcastle were unable to build on their win over Parramatta as they fell to a narrow defeat at home to Sydney Roosters last week. That was their fourth straight loss on home soil with Melbourne the next visitors to McDonald Jones Stadium. The Storm kept themselves within touching distances of the top 4 with a good win over Brisbane last week and are boosted by the return of their first-choice centres but the loss of Jesse Bromwich as well as the late withdrawal of Billy Slater are a blow. The Knights are still in contention for the play-offs but can’t afford to lose too much ground with the gap already standing at four points to eighth-placed Brisbane. However, with Melbourne rolling into town they are in for a tough game and their losing run at home should be extended to five.

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