Broncos Look To Buck Poor Run Of Form

Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au, Source: Getty Images
Justin Hodges will return for Brisbane against the Storm. Source: Getty Images/couriermail.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 24 2012 – Melbourne Storm 19 d Brisbane Broncos 18 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 12 2012 – Melbourne Storm 34 d Brisbane Broncos 10 at AAMI Park
Round 20 2011 – Melbourne Storm 26 d Brisbane Broncos 6 at AAMI Park
Round 9 2011 – Melbourne Storm 29 d Brisbane Broncos 22 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 9 2010 – Brisbane Broncos 36 d Melbourne Storm 14 at AAMI Park

Current Form (most recent first)

Broncos - LWL
Storm - WWW

Gun centre Justin Hodges returns for Brisbane’s  clash with the unbeaten Melbourne Storm  at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night after missing last week’s defeat to the Roosters with a hamstring strain. His inclusion is a big boost for Anthony Griffin’s side, which has scored more than 20 points in just two of their past 13 premiership games. The lack of attacking threat was clearly evident against the Roosters in round three, with Brisbane failing to register a point in their 8-0 defeat at Allianz Stadium.

Melbourne Storm has named the same starting 13 that scored a hard fought 22-18 win in the grand final replay against the Bulldogs in round three, although Siosaia Vave returns from suspension to replace Maurice Blair on an extended bench. After opening 2013 with three straight wins, Melbourne has extended its winning run to eleven matches after winning the premiership off the back of eight consecutive victories last season.

1st Tryscorer

England international Jack Reed  has made a poor start to the new season and will need to lift his game if he wants to keep his place in the Broncos side. He has bagged just seven tries in his past 27 NRL matches and needs to provide some attacking spark to ignite the impotent Broncos attack.

With Ben Barba returning for the Bulldogs just hours before Billy Slater  takes the field in this match, the Australian fullback will be determined to remind everyone that he is the best custodian in the game with a big performance. He always lifts on the big stage and bagged a brace in Melbourne’s 34-10 win over the Broncos in Round 12 last year.

Prediction – The contrast in form between these sides could hardly be greater, with the Melbourne Storm having won eleven on the trot while the Broncos have posted just two wins from its eleven most recent matches. Melbourne has won six of the past seven between the sides, including four on the bounce and it is hard to see anything other than a win for the defending premiers. Melbourne Storm 13+

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