NRL match preview: Melbourne Storm vs St George Illawarra Dragons

Date:Monday, April 14 2014
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick-off: 7pm
Home team: 1.Billy Slater 2.Sisa Waqa 3.William Chambers 4.Justin O’Neill 5.Young Tonumaipea 6.Ben Hampton 7.Cooper Cronk 8.Jesse Bromwich 9.Cameron Smith (c) 10.Bryan Norrie 11.Kevin Proctor 12.Ryan Hoffman 13.Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: 14.Kenny Bromwich 15.Tohu Harris 16.Mitch Garbutt 17.Tim Glasby

Away team: 1.Josh Dugan 2.Brett Morris 3.Dylan Farrell 4.Gerard Beale 5.Jason Nightingale 6.Gareth Widdop 7.Michael Witt 8.Jack Stockwell 9.Mitch Rein 10.Dan Hunt 11.Joel Thompson 12.Ben Creagh (c) 13.Trent Merrin.Interchange: Bronson Harrison 15.Kyle Stanley 16.Mike Cooper 17.Leeson Ah Mau 18.Adam Quinlan 22.Josh Ailaomai

After back to back defeats, it doesn’t get much harder than a trip to AAMI Park to take on the Melbourne Storm. But that’s exactly what awaits St George Illawarra, who, after roaring out of the blocks with three wins from three games, have fallen to the Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs in recent weeks.

Their opponents, the Melbourne Storm have been far from the dominant side we have been used to, but any side with Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith in it will always be very competitive. The Dragons don’t have a great record over the Storm, winning just 2 of the last 10 clashes between the clubs, dating back to 2004.

For Melbourne, Tim Glasby comes onto the bench to replace the suspended Dayne Weston. The Dragons have replaced the suspended Jack De Belin with Jack Stockwell and replaced half back Adam Quinlan with Michael Witt, who plays just his second game of the season after injuring his shoulder against the Wests Tigers in round one.

The Dragons were ripped apart through the middle last week and with the Smith/Slater/Cronk combo, they will need a drastic improvement in their defence this week. It will be a tough ask, and I can’t see the Dragons improving their miserable record against the Storm.

Storm by 8.

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