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Josh Mercer previews the round 18 clash between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys. This is what we have to look forward to.

FORM LINE

Melbourne Storm

After finding themselves down early in the first half against a Rabbitohs side in good form, the Storm were able to get themselves back into the contest through the brilliance of their backline stars. Josh Addo-Carr and Ryan Papenhuyzen were at their best, as well as rampaging back rower Tino Faasuamaleui: he was able to level the game for the Storm after crashing over from close range after a pass that some say was forward.

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North Queensland Cowboys

After some close losses (and a couple of not-so-close ones) the Cowboys found themselves back in the winners circle with a Golden Point win over the Dragons last weekend. Halves Jake Clifford and Scott Drinkwater were in fine touch for the Cowboys, as was star fullback Valentine Holmes, who kicked the winning field goal in Golden Point.

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SQUAD NEWS

Melbourne Storm

Ryan Papenhuyzen is out with an Achilles injury, and Nicho Hynes will take his place at fullback. Suliasi Vunivalu makes his return from injury while Ryley Jacks comes on to the bench.

1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Ryley Jacks 15. Darryn Schonig 16. Albert Vete 17. Isaac Lumelume 18. Tom Eisenhuth 19. Sandor Earl 20. Tui Kamikamica 21. Max King.

North Queensland Cowboys

No changes to the team that beat the Dragons last week.

1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Josh Mcguire 14. Daejarn Asi 15. John Asiata 16. Tom Gilbert 17. Corey Jensen 18. Shane Wright 19. Jake Granville 20. Ben Hampton 21. Peter Hola.

KEY STAT

The last time that the Cowboys beat the Storm was back in 2015, the same year they won the competition.

BATTLE TO WATCH

Jesse Bromwich vs Francis Molo

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The battle to watch will be between Jesse Bromwich and Francis Molo. Bromwich is currently one of the best front rowers around and his go-forward is key to the Storm. Molo has had a good season in a losing side; whether he is starting or coming off the bench, he is a powerhouse who makes good metres for the Cowboys.

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GAME DETAILS

Storm by 14.

Date: Sunday, September 13, 2020
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 4:05pm

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