Silvertails To Weather The Storm

Source: Braden Fastier/foxsports.com.au
Brett Stewart up against Billy Slater is always a match-up to remember. Source: Braden Fastier/foxsports.com.au
Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles
AAMI Park
Saturday May 10 – 7:35 PM (AEST)

Form
Storm:
LLWLL
Sea Eagles: WWWLW

Both have been NRL juggernauts for the better part of a decade. This match always has a tendency to excite and entertain. But this year is a little different. Yes, the Manly Sea Eagles  are where everyone expected them to be, sitting on top of the ladder. But the Melbourne Storm , on the other hand, is a shadow of a team which just two years ago took the premiership trophy back down to Victoria.

It is no real surprise that Manly comes into this one off the back of three straight wins. A team which prides themselves on consistency, at the moment it can do no wrong. But rugby league is a funny sport! When things seem to be going your way, you can almost guarantee a spanner will be thrown in the works. For the Silvertails, this comes in the form of key injuries. The loss of Kieran Foran, Jamie Lyon, Glenn Stewart, and now possibly Daly Cherry-Evans is a massive blow for Manly. Pita Hiku moves into the centres for Lyon (knee), Jamie Buhrer starts at lock for Stewart (ankle), with James Hasson onto the bench. With an injury cloud over DCE, coach Geoff Toovey will use either Hiku or Buhrer to slot into five-eighth, with Jack Littlejohn to move to half-back.

Melbourne is coming off another loss. Having won only one of their past five games, it's just not happening for the men in purple. They were almost a sure thing in tipping comps previously. But this year, we have seen a vastly different team and below-par performances. The “Big 3” has not fired at all. They are still brilliant players, but having set the bar so high over the years, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater are simply not reaching it at the moment. Back from suspension, Will Chambers replaces Justin O’Neill (ankle) in the centres, in the only change from Round 8.

Round 1 at Brookie was a spectacular match. With only one point separating these two, it was definitely what we have come to expect. But this game will be different. One team is under-performing, another is plagued by injuries. But if DCE laces up the boots, Manly should come away with this one.

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