Storm Brewing In Melbourne

Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Cameron Smith wasn't at his best during the week. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 25, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 20 d Cronulla Sharks 18 at AAMI Park
Round 10, 2012 – Cronulla Sharks 12 d Melbourne Storm 10 at Sharks Stadium
Round 12, 2011 - Melbourne Storm 14 d Cronulla Sharks 8 at AAMI Park
Round 24, 2010 Melbourne Storm 24 d Cronulla Sharks 4 at AAMI Park
Round 1, 2010 - Melbourne Storm 14 d Cronulla Sharks 10 at Sharks Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 8    Rd 9    Rd 10    Rd 11    Rd 12 
Storm

L

L

D

W

-

Sharks

W

W

W

W

-


Melbourne  skipper Cameron Smith will celebrate his 250th first grade match when he leads his team into battle against the Sharks  at AAMI Park on Sunday evening. He is one of four Storm players named to back up after State of Origin game one during the week. Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk were part of the Queensland team that went down by eight points in Sydney, while Blues backrower Ryan Hoffman will be on a high following his sides triumph. With that quartet backing up, Craig Bellamy has taken the precaution of adding Brett Finch, Tim Glasby and Kenneath Bromwich to the squad that broke a run of outs with a 26-18 victory over the Roosters at Allianz Stadium two weeks ago.

Paul Gallen will be missing for the Sharks after being let off with a one week ban for punching Nate Myles during Wednesday’s Origin match. Chris Heighington is expected to take his place at lock in a forward pack that features fellow Blues representatives Andrew Fifita and Luke Lewis. Michael Gordon returns at fullback after the 14-12 win over Souths a fortnight ago.

1st Tryscorer

Is it too much to ask for a fairytale for inspirational leader Cameron Smith ? The Queensland and Australian captain has 34 tries from 249 first grade matches but was on the scoresheet in his most recent match for Melbourne and came very close to bagging a four pointer for the Maroons during the week.

It may come as a surprise, but hard working front rower Andrew Fifita  is the Sharks leading tryscorer this season, with four tries from 11 matches for the club. He drew a blank against the Rabbitohs a fortnight ago but was on the scoresheet in the two preceding matches.

Prediction

Melbourne’s big three of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater will still be smarting from being on the wrong side of the ledger in the State Of Origin opener in Sydney on Wednesday night and the Sharks are likely to feel the full brunt of their fury. They were back to their best when ending the Roosters five game winning streak prior to last week’s bye and can continue build on their strong record against the Sharks, which has seen them win six of the past seven meetings between the sides. Melbourne Storm by 10

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