2020 NRL – Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors taking place? Friday 26th June, 2020 – 09:00 (UK)

Where is Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors taking place? Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

What is the expected weather for Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors? 14c, partly cloudy

What channel is Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors 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 New Zealand Warriors? 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 New Zealand Warriors? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

MELBOURNE STORM

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

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

  • Melbourne Storm suffered their second loss of the season as they were outplayed by Penrith Panthers and now the Storm must deal with a change in location after they moved out of Victoria due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
  • This game was due to be played at AAMI Park but the Storm will now be based in Sydney for the time being and that upheaval will need to be dealt with on top of overcoming a below-par effort last week with Melbourne managing just 36.1 metres per set compared to the Panthers’ 48.3m.
  • In their bid to bounce back from last week’s display, the Storm are boosted by the return of winger Josh Addo-Carr and halfback Jahrome Hughes with Marion Seve and Ryley Jacks the two to make way while Brenko Lee is a late scratch so Paul Momirovski will make his Storm debut at centre.

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Maumalo, Hiku, Herbert, Beale, Nikorima, Green, Taunoa-Brown, Lawton, Faamausili, Murchie, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Harris-Tavita, Paasi, Papali’i, Curran – Reserves: Pompey, Pulu

Unavailable: Jackson Frei (Injured), Bunty Afoa (Injured), Nathaniel Roache (Injured), Jazz Tevaga (Injured), Taane Milne (Injured), Lesson Ah Mau (Injured), Adam Keighran (Injured), Wayde Egan (Suspended), Eliesa Katoa (Injured), David Fusitu'a (Injured), Lachlan Burr (Injured)

  • New Zealand Warriors were on the end of a heavy defeat at the hands of South Sydney Rabbitohs last week and that proved to be the end of the road for head coach Stephen Kearney who was relieved of his duties as a result.
  • Todd Payten will have a chance to prove his credentials as he takes temporary charge and one of his first tasks will be to try and fix the Warriors’ faltering attack having managed just 73 points from their six games so far this season with only two teams scoring less.
  • There is mixed news for Payten’s first game in charge with Ken Maumalo back on the wing but the Warriors have been hit hard in terms of player availability once again with Wayde Egan suspended and Eliesa Katoa, David Fusitu'a and Lachlan Burr all out injured.

THE PREDICTION

New Zealand Warriors will hope a change in coach can lead to some improved performances after they parted ways with Stephen Kearney last week. That came on the back of another ugly loss with South Sydney Rabbitohs racking up 40 points while the Warriors also struggled with ball in hand once again. They face a tough test against Melbourne Storm who put in a poor display last week and have had to deal with a move of base to Sydney during the week and although that could open the door slightly for the Warriors, the Storm should be able to cover -13.5 here.

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