Gareth Widdop will move to fullback for the Storm's clash against the Tigers. Picture: heraldsun.com.au / Colleen Petch
Melbourne enters their round fourteen clash against Wests minus a number of familiar faces. Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk are all missing due to State of Origin duties, which opens the door for a number of young Storm players to stand up and be noticed. Englishman Gareth Widdop switches to his preffered fullback position with Maurice Blair starting at five eight alongside Rory Kostjasyn both whom have big wraps from coach Craig Bellamy. Robbie Farah is the only Wests player featuring in Origin and he is replaced by utility Tom Humble.
– The Tigers have travelled to Melbourne on nine occasions and are yet to come away with a win. The Storm continue to make their home ground daunting to any travelling opposition and have recorded six straight wins at AAMI Park. This will be the first time the teams have met at AAMI Park. Melbourne won the most recent game between the two sides in a low scoring encounter back in round fifteen last year.
– Both teams have been on fire with the ball lately scoring plenty of points. The test will be if the Storm can create the same opportunities for their outside backs minus Smith, Cronk and Slater who all play such a pivotal role in their attack. Storm centre Dane Neilsen has been a consistent performer this season already crossing for six tries. Tigers fullback Beau Ryan has been a consistent performer and is capable of latching on to a high ball or breaking the line.
– This is going to be a nail biter. Both teams are in sensational form however the Storm are missing their big guns. In theory Wests should be too strong for the young Storm side however their poor record in Melbourne is not to be overlooked. Storm 1-12 .
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