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06 Apr 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – Wests Tigers vs Melbourne Storm Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 07th April, 06:00 (UK)

Where? Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

TIGERS

Head Coach: Ivan Cleary

Starting 13: Lolohea, Thompson, Marsters, Naiqama, Watene-Zelezniak, Marshall, Brooks, Packer, Godinet, Matulino, Lawrence, Rochow, Eisenhuth – Interchanges: Liddle, Twal, Chee Kam, Aloiai – Reserves: Nofoaluma, Sue

Unavailable: Josh Reynolds, Elijah Taylor

  • Wests Tigers’ impressive start to the season continued as they defeated Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday. The Tigers were 30-6 up before the Eels scored some consolation tries late on to reduce the deficit but didn’t ever really threaten the outcome as the Tigers held on 30-20.
  • Ivan Cleary is set to go with the same 17 that beat the Eels with Josh Reynolds and Elijah Taylor still at least a week away from fitness.
  • The Tigers were impressive with ball-in-hand and made life difficult for Parramatta. They respected the ball which allowed them to complete at 88%, only failing to complete five of their 40 sets.

STORM

Head Coach: Craig Bellamy

Starting 13: Slater, Vunivalu, Tonumaipea, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Croft, J. Bromwich, C. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Stimson, Hoffman, K. Bromwich – Interchanges: B. Smith, Glasby, Welch, Kasiano – Reserves: Olam, F. Kaufusi

Unavailable: Sandor Earl, Jahrome Hughes, Cheyse Blair, Will Chambers, Dale Finucane

  • Melbourne’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they went down to Cronulla Sharks in a scrappy contest. The Storm failed to cross the whitewash as they were defeated 14-4.
  • Will Chambers and Dale Finucane are out after picking up bans last week with Finucane set for an extended spell on the sidelines after picking up a thumb injury too. Young Tonumaipa replaces Chambers whilst Kenny Bromwich starts at lock in place of Finucane.
  • After conceding 19 penalties against the Sharks, a game which also saw captain Cameron Smith sent to the sin bin for the first time in his career, the Storm are now the most penalised side in the NRL this season having been blown up 45 times.

THE PREDICTION

In the first of a double-header at Mt Smart, Wests and Melbourne face-off for the second time this season. Having met in Round 2, Wests will be hoping for a repeat of their shock win when they scored a late try to beat the Storm 8-10. Wests only played on Monday and now face a trip to New Zealand with just one training session under their belt as a result. The Storm will come into the game on the back of an ill-disciplined display against Cronulla in which they failed to score a try and will need to cut out the penalties. Wests head into this in better form with Benji Marshall rolling back the years and he can guide his side to a second straight win over the Storm.

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