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MATCH PREVIEW | Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors

On our day of remembrance the Storm, hurting from their first defeat of the season host a Warriors side that has yet to find their stride.

Team Form Guide

Melbourne Storm

The impressive Roosters outplayed Melbourne in Round 6, but the Storm still showed their class as they forced the game into Golden Point after being down 20-0.

They will be looking at making a statement and have the upper hand when it comes to the annual clash on Anzac Day handing the Warriors heavy defeats in this clash for the past two seasons.

New Zealand Warriors

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The Warriors were embarrassed in their first home defeat of the year against the struggling Cowboys.

Despite having more line breaks, offloads and missing fewer tackles, the Warriors were their own worst enemies. Unforced errors and a lack of direction hampered the Warriors, and they will need to improve on both fronts if they are to compete on Thursday.

Squad News

Melbourne Storm

No changes have been made to the Storm’s starting side with the only adjustment being Marion Seve replacing Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench.

Melbourne Storm 22-Man Squad: 1. Jahrome Hughes, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 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, 18. Patrick Kaufusi, 19. Billy Walters, 20. Albert Vete, 21. Ryan Papenhuyzen

New Zealand Warriors

Blake Green returns which sees Peta Hiku return to the centres, Gerard Beale has been selected at wing replacing David Fusitu’a who went down with a rib injury in the Warriors defeat to the Cowboys.

New Zealand Warriors 22-Man Squad: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Gerard Beale, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Blake Green, 8. Agnatius Paasi, 9. Issac Luke, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Lachlan Burr, 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Isaiah Papali’i, 16. Bunty Afoa, 17. Nathaniel Roache, 18. Hayze Perham, 20. Leivaha Pulu, 21. Patrick Herbert, 23. Chris Satae

Head to Head

Played: 42, Storm 24, Warriors 16, Drawn 2

Latest Result: Storm 12-6, Round 19 2018

Key Battle:

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Melbourne are a well-oiled machine and that all starts with their captain Cameron Smith and his battle against Issac Luke will be key in the outcome of this match.

No one controls the game from the ruck like Smith and with the Warriors struggling with their attack Luke needs to insert himself into the match with sniping runs out of dummy half and assist the halves with the kicking game.

Expect to see a lot of action out of the ruck in this clash.

The Important Details

Date: Thursday, April 25

Venue: AAMI Park

Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (9:50 pm NZ Time)

Who Will Win?

Despite their loss last week, the Storm is still arguably the best team in the NRL currently, and they should cruise to a victory over the Warriors.

The Storm will target the Warriors edges which have leaked plenty of points to date in 2019, and as long as they restrict the Warriors second phase football, they should shut down the Warriors with minimal effort.

Extra attention will need to be directed at Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who has been having a phenomenal season to date, shutting RTS down is key to neutering the Warriors attack.

The Warriors have appeared loss in Blake Green’s absence and will be relishing having him return to add some composure to the Warriors attack.

The Warriors will need to try to combat the Storms large forward pack with their more mobile pack, the Warriors are at their best against the Storm when they can keep them on the back foot with their offloads so expect to see some razzle dazzle from New Zealand and Thursday night.

I see the Storm being too strong for the Warriors; they are just too clinical to bet against.

The Warriors will put on a valiant effort in an attempt to regain confidence, but it will not be enough to get the job done.

Storm by 18

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