Last Start Losers Lock Horns

Picture: Michael Klein/dailytelegraph.com.au
Billy Slater scored a hat-trick last time he played Brisbane. Picture: Michael Klein/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 4, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 32 d Brisbane Broncos 26 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 24, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 19 d Brisbane Broncos 18 at Suncorp Stadum
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

Current Form

  Rd 12    Rd 13    Rd 14    Rd 15    Rd 16 
Storm

-

W

W

L

L

Broncos

L

L

W

-

L


Melbourne  welcomes skipper Cameron Smith back for its game against the Broncos  on Friday night as the club looks to consolidate its place in the top four. The games best hooker was on the sidelines for his side’s 22-4 Tigers last weekend after suffering a nasty eye injury in State of Origin game two. His return sees Ryan Hinchcliffe return to lock, while Tohu Harris is relegated to the bench.

Ben Hannant was a late withdrawal from the side that went down to 18-16 to the Warriors in round 16 after re-aggravating the calf injury that saw him miss a month of football. Josh McGuire was elevated to the starting side across the Tasman and retains his place in the front row, with coach Anthony Griffin naming an unchanged side for this fixture despite the fact his men have now lost four successive away matches.

1st Tryscorer

Melbourne custodian Billy Slater  may not be having his best season but there have been times when we have seen the best of him in 2013 and one of those occasions was against the Broncos in round four. He bagged a hat-trick against Brisbane on that night and will be keen to repeat the dose at AAMI Park.

Only Josh Hoffman has scored more tries for the Broncos this season than Matt Gillett , with the State of Origin star in great form of late. Although he failed to score against the Warriors last week, he scored in each of his previous two matches for Brisbane.

Prediction

The Storm have their ‘big three’ available for the first time in four weeks against the Broncos and will be determined to put in a strong performance having lost their past two matches. Melbourne has won 12 of its past 14 matches against Brisbane and has lost to them just once in the Victorian capital in the past decade. Defeat could see the Broncos finish the round as low as 14th on the ladder, not something that their fans would be used to seeing. Melbourne Storm by 14

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