Storm Shoot For Sweet Sixteen

Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Justin O'Neill returned against the Warriors last week. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Last 5 Meetings

Round 18 2012 – Canberra Raiders 40 d Melbourne Storm 12 at AAMI Park
Round 1 2012 – Melbourne Storm 24 d Canberra Raiders 19 at Canberra Stadium
Round 19 2011 – Melbourne Storm 26 d Canberra Raiders 0 at Canberra Stadium
Round 10 2011 – Canberra Raiders 20 d Melbourne Storm 12 at AAMI Park
Round 21 2010 – Melbourne Storm 36 d Canberra Raiders 12 at AAMI Park

Current Form

  Rd 3    Rd 4    Rd 5   Rd 6   Rd 7 
Storm

W

W

W

W

W

Raiders

W

L

W

W

L


Coach Craig Bellamy has unsurprisingly named an unchanged side for Melbourne Storm’s  clash with the Canberra Raiders  at AAMI Park on Saturday. The defending Premiers extended their winning sequence to 15 matches with a 28-18 victory against the Warriors on ANZAC Day and can become just the fifth club to win 16 on the trot if they are able to collect the two points.

After coming off the bench in the past two rounds, Terry Campese has been named in the Raiders starting side for the first time this season with Sam Williams the man to miss out. Jarrod Croker and Joel Thompson both picked up injuries against the Cowboys last week and have been ruled out, but Sandor Earl returns on the wing while Anthony Milford, Jarrad Kennedy and Shaun Berrigan are all on an extended bench.

1st Tryscorer

Justin O’Neill  was a late inclusion for Melbourne last week after missing six weeks with a broken jaw and will be determined to press his claims for a State of Origin call up. He will look to use his electrifying pace to get outside the Raiders inside defenders.

Canberra fullback Reece Robinson  has made the second most tackle busts in the competition this season but has only managed to score two tries. He is one of the Raiders most dangerous attacking weapons and Terry Campese will look to give him as much ball as possible.

Prediction

Despite the fact that Canberra has won the past two meetings between these sides in Melbourne, it is hard to see how they can win this time around given the form of the defending premiers. The Storm has won eight in a row at AAMI Park that record doesn’t look like ending this weekend. Melbourne Storm 13+

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