The Melbourne Storm need to start winning if they are going to be a premiership threat. Image courtesy of: couriermail.com.au
After registering nine consecutive wins to kick off their 2012 campaign Melbourne has stumbled in the post origin period to lose their past five. Storm coach Craig Bellamy has been furious with his chargers performance and admits they need to tighten their defence if they are any chance of recapturing form that saw them installed as title favourites for the majority of the season. The Stor will face an inform Penrith side recording their first back-to-back win over Cronulla in golden point last weekend. Englishman Gareth Widdop returns at five eight for the Storm while Penrith remain unchanged after last Sunday’s bruising win at Shark Park.
History – The Storm will be extremely confident of breaking their losing streak after winning their past ten games against the Panthers. Usually unbeatable at home, the Storm has recorded three consecutive losses at AAMI Stadium, by far their worst home losing streak since they took ownership of the new stadium. Melbourne will hope for a repeat in performance from round nine when they crushed the Panthers 44-10 at the foot of the mountains.
Dangermen – Storm centre Will Chambers has provided an abundance of attacking options since returning from Super rugby, the powerhouse centre has scored eleven tries in as many games this season. Panthers centre Michael Jennings continues to impress coach Ivan Cleary since his axing during the origin period, Jennings scored tries in the panthers wins over the Roosters and Sharks.
Prediction – Will this be a season defining game for the Storm? History shows that the Storm dominates the Panthers and this game should be a good launching point to resurrect their 2012 title bid. Storm 13+ .
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