Preview: Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys

As part of Super Saturday, the Melbourne Storm will be hosting the North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park, and with both teams down on troops due to Origin next week, it will be a challenging and an interesting match for both sides.

Last Time Out

The Melbourne Storm saw victory on Thursday night last week when they visited Cronulla to come up against the Sharks once again. They were finally able to hit back after their hosts defeated them in a gut wrenching grand final, and a rainy rematch earlier in the season at AAMI Park. It was a strong game from the Melbourne Storm who never gave up. The Sharks were ahead until Billy Slater set up a try for Felise Kaufusi in the dying minutes of the match, which is what won them the match. While they got away with the victory, the completion rate from Melbourne was uncharacteristic, where they made twelve errors and conceded nine penalties. Their discipline wasn’t there which allowed the Sharks to capitalise for a period of time before the visitors ran away with the win.

The North Queensland Cowboys had a strong match last Saturday at TIO Stadium in Darwin, when they were hosted by the Parramatta Eels. The Cowboys were dominant throughout the entire match, only conceding one try in the final twelve minutes. It was Johnathan Thurston who starred, after making his way back to the football stage, finally recovering from a long term injury that kept him out for weeks. He was instrumental in the Cowboys’ victory, scoring sixteen points for his team. The completion rate was high, and the visitors from North Queensland made only seven errors as opposed to the Eels’ twelve. They were significantly stronger in both attack and defence, running and kicking more metres which enabled them to build pressure and score plenty of points, which enabled them to be successful in stealing the two points.

Key Battle

The replacements for the Origin stars. There are plenty of players out from both the Storm and the Cowboys, and all players will need to step up and adapt in order for the sides to succeed and make the match as competitive as it would be with the sides at full strength.

Prediction

Both sides need to adapt to being without their key players, and it will be an interesting match to view. Their key players are missing from crucial positions, and so the players need to step up into their positions. While both sides have played well without key players, AAMI Park will be a huge boost for the Melbourne Storm, who are in fact favourites. Melbourne by 2.

Squads

Melbourne Storm

1. Young Tonumaipea 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Curtis Scott 4. Tohu Harris 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Slade Griffin 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Joe Stimson 17. Dean Britt 18. Jeremy Hawkins 19. Brodie Croft 20. Vincent Leuluai 21. Jahrome Hughes

North Queensland Cowboys

1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Javid Bowen 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Ray Thompson 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Kane Linnett 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Ben Hampton 15. Shaun Fensom 16. Ben Spina 17. Corey Jensen 18. Braden Uele 19. Kalyn Ponga 20. Patrick Mago 21. Blake Leary