On Monday night at AAMI Park, Melbourne Storm will take on the Newcastle Knights, the same team that unexpectedly knocked them out of last year’s finals series.
While the Storm have started the season with two dramatic one-point victories over Manly and Penrith, Newcastle remain winless, although their line-up hasn’t been at full strength because of injuries.
Despite this, Cooper Cronk was adamant they are capable of being a dangerous side.
“The way they play, they are very aggressive with a big forward pack that likes to dominate. Defensively they will be rushing our attack so we need to make adjustments there. Also they are a team that like to spread the football a lot.”
Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged 17 while Wayne Bennett has included forward David Fa’alogo on a five-man bench but the valuable Darius Boyd (hamstring) and Jarrod Mullen (hamstring) remain sidelined.
Melbourne lead Newcastle 5-1 in head to head meetings at AAMI Park – That one win for the Knights was 18-16 in week two of last year’s finals series.
I think if the Melbourne defence is good enough to prevent wingers Akuila Uate and James McManus from finding space out wide, they should win comfortably and continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Tip: Storm by 8.