2018 NRL – Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Wednesday 25th April, 10:00 (UK)

Where? AAMI Park

What channel is it on? UK - Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors 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-...

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

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

STORM

Head Coach: Craig Bellamy

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

Unavailable: Sandor Earl, Jahrome Hughes, Dale Finucane, Jesse Bromwich

  • Melbourne put in one of their best performances of the season as they defeated Brisbane last week. It was an important win for the Storm after a stuttering start to the season but they now sit just four points off top spot after their 20-34 win.
  • Craig Bellamy is without Jesse Bromwich this week as he sits out with a knee injury. Tim Glasby reverts to prop with Kenny Bromwich starting at lock and Joe Stimson earning a place on the interchange bench.
  • The Storm looked to keep the ball alive last week and it worked well for them. They made 14 offloads with their second-phase of play allowing them to run for 1,305 metres, 190 metres more than the Broncos from seven fewer runs.

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Gelling, Maumalo, Green, Lino, Afoa, Luke, Paasi, Mannering, Papali’i, Blair – Interchanges: Tevaga, Lisone, Vete, Nicoll-Klokstad – Reserves: Sao, Vuna, Satae, Cook

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Gerard Beale, James Gavet, Solomone Kata, Leivaha Pulu, Tohu Harris, Shaun Johnson

  • New Zealand Warriors ended St George’s 100% start to the season with a stirring win last week. The Warriors were superb and managed to fend off the Dragons in a brilliant contest with them claiming a 20-12 win.
  • Stephen Kearney must do without key man Shaun Johnson who misses out with a groin injury whilst Tohu Harris is also out after failing to overcome a head knock. Mason Lino lines up in the halves with Isaiah Papali’i replacing Harris in the second-row and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad promoted to the bench.
  • The Warriors were clinical with ball-in-hand and they needed to be as the Dragons enjoyed 12:24 in possession more than the home side, accounting for 61% of the ball.

THE PREDICTION

The Storm host the Warriors in the second match on Anzac Day in what looks like another brilliant contest. Melbourne are beginning to resemble the team that cleaned up last year whilst the Warriors are only second in the table on points difference. A solid win over the Broncos last week earned the Storm back-to-back wins for the first time this season whilst the Warriors still just have a single loss to their name. The loss of Shaun Johnson will be tough to overcome for the Warriors though, and playing at AAMI Park isn’t a venue you’d like to go to without your best side. The Storm can take advantage of this and give a reminder to those above them that they’re on the rise.