Warriors Set For Melbourne Raid

Source: Wayne Drought/AAP
Shaun Johnson has been in good form this season. Source: Wayne Drought/AAP
Last 5 Meetings

Round 13 2012 – Melbourne Storm 22 d New Zealand Warriors 12 at Mt Smart Stadium
Round 8 2012 – Melbourne Storm 32 d New Zealand Warriors 14 at AAMI Park
Preliminary Final 2011 – New Zealand Warriors 20 d Melbourne Storm 12 at AAMI Park
Round 16 2011 – Melbourne Storm 16 d New Zealand Warriors 8 at Mt Smart Stadium
Round 7 2011 – New Zealand Warriors 18 d Melbourne Storm 14 at AAMI Park

Current Form

  Rd 2    Rd 3    Rd 4    Rd 5    Rd 6 
Storm

W

W

W

W

W

Warriors

L

L

W

L

L


Ryan Hinchcliffe and Siosaia Vave are both missing from the Melbourne  side that kept it's unbeaten record intact by winning the top of the table clash with Souths a fortnight ago, having been ruled out for at least a month after limping off in that match with leg injuries. Justin O'Neill could feature for the first time since round two after recovering from a broken jaw, while Junior Moor, Slade Griffin, Kenneath Bromwich and Maurice Blair are also added to a six man interchange bench.

Glenn Fisiiahi, Jacob Lillyman, Elijah Taylor, Pita Godinet and Jerome Ropati will all return for New Zealand  after varying absences from the top grade, although the Warriors have several other key players unavailable through injury. Manu Vatuvei, Dane Nielsen and skipper Simon Mannering are all in the casualty ward joining Steve Rapira and Sione Lousi on the sidelines.

1st Tryscorer

Centre Will Chambers  was the second leading tryscorer for Melbourne in 2012 but has failed to make the same impact this year, with his double against the Cowboys in week two the only points he has registered in 2013. With former teammate Dane Nielsen missing, Chambers will look to exploit the Warriors centre pairing that has played little footy together.

Although the Warriors have just one victory from the opening six rounds of the season, one man that has been in great form is Shaun Johnson . The Kiwi halfback has already crossed for two four pointers in 2013 and been dangerous when running with the ball.

Prediction

Defending premier Melbourne has made a perfect start to 2013, extending its winning run to a club record 14 matches with its 17-10 victory over the previously unbeaten Rabbitohs before the representative break. Although the Warriors have a strong recent record at AAMI Park and welcome a host of players back into the ranks, it is hard to tip a team that has won just one of its past fifteen matches. Melbourne Storm 1-12

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