Starting 13: Slater, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Jacks, Welch, C. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, F. Kaufusi, Hoffman, Finucane – Interchanges: B. Smith, K. Bromwich, Stimson, Kasiano – Reserves: Croft, Kamikamica, P. Kaufusi, Olam
Unavailable: Sandor Earl, Jahrome Hughes, Jesse Bromwich, Tim Glasby
Melbourne had no answer for league leaders St George last week as the reigning Premiers were comfortably beaten. After a close first half, the Dragons ran away with it as they condemned the Storm to a 34-14 defeat.
Curtis Scott has recovered from an ankle knock and takes the place of Justin Olam who made his debut last week. Dale Finucane starts at lock with Kenny Bromwich switching to the interchanges.
The Storm conceded almost double the number of penalties than the Dragons last week and it proved to be very costly. In what could have been a tight game, it allowed the Dragons to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Gareth Widdop opted to kick at goal from five of the 11 penalties conceded and was successful with all of those attempts.
Unavailable: Kyle Flanagan, Jai Arrow, Ryan Simpkins
Gold Coast never recovered from their awful start against Canberra last week as they went down to yet another defeat. The loss was the Titans’ fourth in a row as the Raiders ran in four tries in the opening 22 minutes to blow Gold Coast away and set up a 32-18 win.
Garth Brennan has made sweeping changes to his side following a string of poor performances. AJ Brimson has been named to make his debut at five-eighth with Bryce Cartwright dropping to the bench. Dale Copley and Brenko Lee replaces Konrad Hurrell and Brendan Elliott in the centres whilst Jai Arrow misses out with a rib problem. That’s resulted in a reshuffle in the pack with Ryan James reverting to prop, Will Matthews back in the side at second row and Jarrod Wallace starting at lock.
The Titans completed at just 65% last week, making 15 errors during the game. They also missed 45 tackles as they continue to leak points at an average of 26.6 per game which is the worst record in the NRL.
The Suncorp Stadium plays host to a double-header for this Indigenous Round with Melbourne against Gold Coast first up. The Storm will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss against league leaders St George whilst the Titans went down to the Raiders in similar fashion. That loss for the Titans has seen the axe come down on several big-name players in the hope it will ignite a response. It will be a tough ask against the Storm who will be looking to pile more misery on the Titans and they can do just that against their shoddy defence.
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