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2021 NRL Round 14 Preview, Warriors Vs Storm

Brad Inger previews the Sunday afternoon clash between the New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Date: 13/6, Time: 2pm

Warriors

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
2. Marcelo Montoya
3. Euan Aitken
4. Rocco Berry
5. Edward Kosi
6. Kodi Nikorima
7. Chanel Harris-Tavita
8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
9. Wayde Egan
10. Leeson Ah Mau
11. Bayley Sironen
12. Tohu Harris
13. Josh Curran
14. Jack Murchie
15. Kane Evans
16. Bunty Afoa
17. Ben Murdoch-Masila
18. Jazz Tevaga
20. Sean O’Sullivan
21. Ken Maumalo
22. Addin Fonua-Blake

Team Changes

IN: Addin Fonua-Blake, Bayley Sironen, Edward Kosi, Josh Curran, Ken Maumalo, Sean O’Sullivan
OUT: Adam Pompey, Eliesa Katoa, Reece Walsh

Storm

1. Nicho Hynes
2. George Jennings
3. Reimis Smith
4. Justin Olam
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Cameron Munster
7. Jahrome Hughes
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Brandon Smith
10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
11. Kenneath Bromwich
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Dale Finucane
14. Harry Grant
15. Tui Kamikamica
16. Christian Welch
17. Aaron Pene
18. Dean Ieremia
19. Tom Eisenhuth
20. Marion Seve
21. Chris Lewis
22. Trent Loiero
23. Cooper Johns

Team Changes

IN: Cameron Munster, Christian Welch, Felise Kaufusi, Harry Grant, Josh Addo-Carr, Marion Seve, Tom Eisenhuth
OUT:
Aaron Booth, Isaac Lumelume

Referee: Matt Cecchin

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Warriors

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The Warriors are missing exciting rookie Reece Walsh and centre Adam Pompey due to suspensions but welcome back marque signing Addin Fonua-Blake who will add some much-needed impact in the middle.

The New Zealand side comes into the round refreshed, having a bye last round but will still be wondering how they let victory slip out of their grasps in Round 12 when they lost 29-28 to the Cowboys.

Storm

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The Storms line-up may change depending on how their Origin stars fare but they are brimming with talent regardless.

Melbourne comes into this round after a 20-14 win over the Titans. Round 12 also saw the Storm defeat the Broncos convincingly 40-12. Melbourne are currently on a 10 game winning streak.

PREVIEW

The Warriors return to their makeshift home on the Central Coast to take on a Storm side with plenty of attacking ability. The New Zealand side has shown glimpses of how dangerous they can be on attack and have been the only side to put 20 points on the Storm so far this season. Defence will be key in this matchup, and the Warriors will need to keep the pressure on if they want to walk away with the much-needed two points.

The return of Addin Fonua-Blake will be integral to the home sides fortunes; his ability to bend defensive lines have been missing from the Warriors, and they will be relying on him to set the platform so the Warriors can get their electric skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck into attacking opportunities. Their edge defence is still a massive concern, and you can expect the Storm to be throwing plenty of firepower at the Warriors right edge.

The Storm have threats all over the park, but all eyes will be on Nicho Hynes; he has taken his opportunity with both hands. You can expect to see him inject himself into the match with his silky runs and cutout passes. The Storms defence is staunch, and they will be looking at shutting down the Warriors forwards quickly to eliminate any chance of second-phase football.

KEY STAT

The head-to-head record between these sides leans heavily towards the Storm, with 28 wins out of 46 matches played. Melbourne have won their past 10 games against the New Zealand side, including a 42-20 victory in round 7 earlier this season.

PREDICTION

The Warriors are be playing at home, but the loss of Walsh may stunt their attack enough to put victory of their reach. Warriors fans will be hoping for a more competitive match than round seven, but the Storm just don’t know how to lose right now, so I see them winning comfortably.

Storm by 16

 

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