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NRL match preview: Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels

Date: Sunday, June 22, 2014
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Time: 2pm

Teams

Storm (from): Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Mahe Fonua, Young Tonumaipea, Ben Hampton, Ben Roberts, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (capt), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Kenny Bromwich, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Jordan McLean, Tim Glasby, Joel Romelo, Kurt Mann.

Eels (from): Jarryd Hayne (capt), Semi Radradra, Will Hopoate, Willie Tonga, Vai Toutai, Corey Norman, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah (capt), Isaac De Gois, Junior Paulo, Kenny Edwards, Pauli Pauli, Joseph Paulo. Interchange: David Gower, Lee Mossop, Peni Terepo, Luke Kelly.

Preview

Melbourne Storm welcome Paramatta Eels to AAMI Park on Sunday, with the home side looking to kick-start their campaign after an underwhelming start to the season.

The Eels, on the other hand, will be looking to pull off another win as they look to continue their impressive first half of the 2014 campaign.

Storm welcome back Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman from Origin duty while Jarryd Hayne and Will Hopoate return for the Eels. Meanwhile Pauli Pauli looks set to start for the Eels in place of the injured Manu Ma’u.

Melbourne have struggled for much of 2014 and their poor form sees them currently sat in ninth place having won just four of their last ten matches, already losing three times on home turf this campaign.

By contrast, Parramatta sit seventh on the league ladder and they have won four of their last five matches, but have only won two from seven away from home.

There will be several key battles between the two sides, with the likes of Origin stars of Hayne and Slater catching the headlines, but perhaps the most intriguing match up could be between young forwards Jesse Bromwich and Junior Paulo.

Bromwich has performed well this season and has probably been Melbourne’s best player in 2014 and he picked up a deserved Man of the Match award last Monday when the Storm beat the Titans. Meanwhile, Paulo has shown his worth this season and looks to have been a great find for Parra. If he performs at his best, he can help lay the platform for an Eels win.

This should be an interesting clash between two sides who have had contrasting seasons so far, but, despite Storm’s home advantage, I can see Parra picking up the two points.

Prediction

Eels by 10

20. Sports Journalism student at UCLan | Morecambe FC programme contributor | Dewsbury Rams media team | Leeds Rhinos fan.

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