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Source: Colleen Petch/News Limited
Cooper Cronk has been in great form. Source: Colleen Petch/News Limited
Storm v Warriors

Melbourne Storm  has burst out of the blocks this year, winning each of their opening seven matches to have the best start to an NRL season by any team in sixteen years. The big three of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, and Billy Slater have been in scintillating form and will backup after having big games for Australia against the Kiwis on Friday night, while Todd Lowrie returns to the squad following a leg injury.

The Warriors  defeated Souths 44-22 in the last round and welcome fullback Kevin Locke back into their run on side after three weeks out, but there is a slight over New Zealand representatives Shaun Johnson and Manu Vatuvei.

History – These teams have met on Anzac Day in each of the past three seasons for a win each and a draw. Last season the Warriors shocked the Storm with an 18-14 win at AAMI Park and also upset the Storm in the preliminary final.

Dangermen – After scoring nine tries in the opening five rounds, Billy Slater  has been relatively quiet by his lofty standards, failing to trouble the scorers in the his past two matches. Back at home he will be determined to get back on the scoresheet.

Shaun Johnson  scored a try for the Kiwis in the Test match against Australia last Friday night, to add to the three that he has collected for his club side this season. He has been getting better which each match and will be a big threat to the Storm defence.

Prediction – Melbourne have been irresistible this season and they should have too much firepower for the Jekyll and Hyde Warriors. If the visitors turn up it could be close, but they can’t be trusted to do that. Melbourne 13+


Dragons v Roosters

The Roosters  face their biggest test of the season so far when they lock horns with the Dragons  in the traditional Anzac Day clash, looking to erase the memories of a humiliating 50-12 loss to the Cowboys in their last fixture. Mitchell Pearce and BJ Leilua backing up after playing in the City/Country match.

Like the Roosters, St George has won four of their opening seven matches this season. If they are going to be a genuine top four club this year, these are the sorts of games that they have to win. All of the Dragons representative players are expected to back up following their exploits on the weekend while they also welcome centre Matt Cooper back into the side.

History – This will be the eleventh Anzac Day clash between these sides, with the Dragons having won the past four. Ben Creagh and Brett Morris were both on the scoreboard last year as they recorded a 24-10 triumph.

Dangermen – Although Brett Morris’ move to fullback has been a masterstroke by new coach Steve Price, his tryscoring record in the position is only modest. Expect him to become more of a threat as he gains more experience in the custodian role.

Mitchell Pearce had arguably his best game of the year for City against Country on Sunday and appears to be finding his best form with State of Origin just around the corner. As he grows in confidence he is likely to run the ball more and will be a real threat to the Dragons line.

Prediction – Although there is nothing to separate these teams on the ladder, the Dragons have looked the better team this year and should have too much firepower for the Roosters. Dragons 1-12

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