2018 NRL – Melbourne Storm vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 19th May, 10:35 (UK)

Where? AAMI Park

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-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=STORM1118

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

STORM

Head Coach: Craig Bellamy

Starting 13: Slater, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Jacks, Welch, B. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, F. Kaufusi, Hoffman, Finucane – Interchanges: Glasby, K. Bromwich, Stimson, Hughes – Reserves: P. Kaufusi, Croft, Grant, Olam

Unavailable: Sandor Earl, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Sam Kasiano

  • Melbourne weren’t at their best last week but managed to overcome Gold Coast to get back to winning ways after being comfortably beaten by St George in the previous week. The Storm were too strong late in the game as the Titans suffered with injuries, claiming a 28-14 win.

  • Captain Cameron Smith is ruled out due to suspension whilst Sam Kasiano also copped a ban last week. Brandon Smith takes the hooking role whilst Tim Glasby has recovered from injury to replace Kasiano on the bench.

  • Melbourne made nine errors last week, with their tally of handling errors for the season rising to 53. That is the most in the NRL with the Storm still struggling to reach the level of performance they set last season.

SEA EAGLES

Head Coach: Trent Barrett

Starting 13: T. Trbojevic, M. Wright, Suli, Kelly, Uate, Walker, Cherry-Evans, Fonua-Blake, Koroisau, Taupau, Thompson, Lane, J. Trbojevic – Interchanges: Hodkinson, Winterstein, Perrett, Sipley – Reserves: T. Wright, Brown, Taufua, Funa

Unavailable: Curtis Sironen, Kelepi Tanginoa, Brad Parker, Lachlan Croker, Jake Gosiewski, Taniela Paseka

  • Manly picked up their first win since Round 4 with an impressive performance against Brisbane last week. Following a good showing against the Roosters the week before, the Sea Eagles got their rewards as they built on that performance to see off the Broncos 38-24.

  • Trent Hodkinson goes straight onto the bench following his arrival from Cronulla Sharks last week which has seen Tom Wright drop to the reserves. Toafofoa Sipley aso comes into the 17 as he replaces the injured Taniela Paseka.

  • Manly made plenty of metres last week as they outran the Broncos, making over 300 metres more than their opponents. They were dominant up the middle and will be looking to once again build on a good performance.

THE PREDICTION

Manly ended their long wait for a win as they defeated Brisbane last week. The Sea Eagles were the better team for large spells of the game and deserved their win but face a tough test to back that up against reigning Premiers Melbourne this week. The Storm won a scrappy game with the Titans last week and will be missing influential captain Cameron Smith after he was banned for a tackle on Kevin Proctor in last week’s game. How the Storm cope without Smith remains to be seen but his loss is likely to be significant and the Sea Eagles can take advantage of that for back-to-back wins.