The Melbourne Storm host the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the penultimate game of round four.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
After losing last year’s grand final, Melbourne started 2019 like the professionals, comfortably beating Brisbane, Canberra and Penrith to sit on top of the ladder after three rounds. They got fast starts against Brisbane and Canberra and weathered late comebacks before cruising to victory. They decimated Penrith at Carrington Park last Saturday night, scoring five tries to nil and keeping Penrith scoreless for 74 minutes.
Following dissapointing losses to the Warriors and Parramatta, Canterbury broke their duck against the Wests Tigers. Reimis Smith, Keiran Foran, Dylan Napa and Adam Elliott scored as Canterbury opened up an 22-0 lead early in the second half. While it didn’t erode their earlier bad losses, it did give fans some hope.
The only major change is Josh Addo-Carr’s withdrawal due to personal reasons. He is replaced by Ryan Papenhuyzen, originally named as a reserve.
Melbourne squad: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 18. Ryan Papenhuyzen 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Tui Kamikamica 17. Marion Seve 19. Patrick Kaufusi 21. Patrick Kaufusi
A huge blow for Canterbury, with Kieran Foran ruled out for up to three months. He’s replaced by Jack Cogger, making his Canterbury debut after 20 games with Newcastle.
Canterbury-Bankstown squad: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jack Cogger 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Rhyse Martin 14. Michael Lichaa 15. Ofahiki Ogden 16. Adam Elliott 17. Chris Smith 18. 19. 20. Marcelo Montoya 22. Sauaso Sue
HEAD TO HEAD
Their last meeting was way back in round one 2018. Played at Perth’s new Optus Stadium, Addo-Carr scored two tries in Melbourne’s 36-18 win.
There will be a lot of pressure on new five eighth Cogger, not only replacing Foran but also facing Cameron Munster. If Canterbury are to have any chance, Cogger must gel quickly with Lachlan Lewis or Munster, Brodie Croft and Cameron Smith with dominate the Bulldogs.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday April 7, 2019
Venue: AAMI Park Melbourne
WHO WILL WIN?
As encouraging as Canterbury’s win was last week, it’s hard to see them matching Melbourne. The Storm always lift the year after losing a grand final, so expect them to keep building momentum infront of their home fans on Sunday afternoon. Canterbury should be competitive early, but Melbourne have too much class and will enjoy a comfortable win.
Melbourne by 20.