2020 NRL – Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders taking place? Saturday 30th May, 2020 – 10:35 (UK)

Where is Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders taking place? AAMI Park, Melbourne

What is the expected weather for Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders? 14c, partly cloudy

What channel is Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders on? Sky Sports Arena will be televising selected NRL games in the UK and you can find their schedule here. For Australian broadcasters, you can find a list here

Where can I stream Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders? If televised on Sky Sports, then subscribers will be able to stream the match live via Sky Go. Alternatively, the match will be available to subscribers of Watch NRL

Where can I get tickets for Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders? No tickets are available as NRL matches are currently taking place behind closed doors

THE TEAM NEWS

MELBOURNE STORM

Starting 13: Papenhuyzen, Vunivalu, Olam, Seve, Addo-Carr, Munster, Hughes, J. Bromwich, C. Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Kaufusi, K. Bromwich, Finucane – Interchanges: B. Smith, Faasuamaleaui, Welch, King – Reserves: Lee, Jacks

Unavailable: Tui Kamikamica (Injured), Sandor Earl (Injured)

  • Melbourne Storm were far from convincing in their opening two games of the 2020 campaign but did enough to win both of those matches against Manly Sea Eagles and Cronulla Sharks.
  • The Storm will now play their first game with the new six-again rule and there will be a lot of interest in how they adapt to that with the Craig Bellamy coached side deemed to enjoy the wrestle and slowing the ruck speed down when necessary.
  • They have been strengthened by the return of Brandon Smith for this contest and he will be introduced from the interchange bench along with Christian Welch who is also back in the 17 but Tui Kamikamica is out with a back injury.

CANBERRA RAIDERS

Starting 13: Nicoll-Klokstad, Cotric, Croker, Scott, Oldfield, Wighton, G. Williams, Papalii, Hodgson, Lui, Tapine, Whitehead, Horsburgh – Interchanges: Havili, Guler, Soliola, Rapana – Reserves: Frawley, Starling

Unavailable: Hudson Young (Suspended), John Bateman (Injured), Sebastian Kris (Illness), Bailey Simonsson (Injured)

  • Canberra Raiders did what was required in their opening two games of the season as they earned victories over Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors but they will need to be at their best for this trip.
  • The Raiders caused an upset in last year’s finals by defeating the Storm en route to the Grand Final and that is likely to be a focus of their opponents as they attempt to earn revenge for that loss.
  • John Batemen was hoping to be back for this game but he has still not recovered from shoulder surgery in what is a big blow for the Raiders while Jordan Rapana has earned a late call-up to the bench following his return to the club after a brief spell in rugby union after Bailey Simonsson was a late withdrawal.

THE PREDICTION

Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders are both 2-0 heading into this clash but something has to give between the two teams that many believe could contest this year’s Grand Final. Neither side hit their straps in their opening two matches but the Storm had the tougher fixtures and will be content to have won both of those games. Their defence was strong in those games and although it will be tested by this Raiders outfit, points are likely to be at a premium in this contest with the game likely to see less than 40 points.

TSZ Latest