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2021 NRL Round 15 Preview, Storm Vs Tigers

Christopher Rooney previews Melbourne’s “home” clash against the Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Date: Saturday June 19, Time: 7:35pm

Storm Team

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

Team Changes

IN: Christian Welch, Cooper Johns, George Jennings, Jordan Grant, 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
OUT: Jesse Bromwich, Marion Seve

Tigers Team

1. Daine Laurie
2. David Nofoaluma
3. Tommy Talau
4. James Roberts
5. Ken Maumalo
6. Moses Mbye
7. Luke Brooks
8. James Tamou (c)
9. Jacob Liddle
10. Alex Twal
11. Luke Garner
12. Luciano Leilua
13. Joe Ofahengaue
14. Stefano Utoikamanu
15. Shawn Blore
16. Tom Amone
17. Alex Seyfarth
18. Michael Chee Kam
19. Kelma Tuilagi
20. Fetalaiga Pauga
21. Jake Simpkins

Team Changes

IN: Fetalaiga Pauga, Jake Simpkins, Kelma Tuilagi, Ken Maumalo, Moses Mbye
OUT: Adam Doueihi, Billy Walters

Referee: Gerard Sutton

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Storm

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After 14 rounds, the Melbourne Storm have reclaimed top spot and they do not look like they will be slowing down at any rate. The Storm have scored 40 points or more eight times this year, and their attack remains the competition’s best by a long mile. They will welcome back Christian Welch from a head knock, but he will need to pass final concussion protocols before taking the field. The Storm will also welcome back Nelson Asofa-Solomona, who will replace Jesse Bromwich (who has an elbow injury), and George Jennings returns on the wing after missing last week.

Tigers

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The Wests Tigers will be looking at a major bounce back after last week’s embarrassing performance against the Parramatta Eels. Moses Mbye will be a welcome return for the Tigers and will need to pass his training before travelling up to the Sunshine Coast. Ken Maumalo will make his Tigers debut this Saturday and will face the Storm again for the second straight week. There’s a huge blow to the Tigers as Adam Doueihi will not line up this week after suffering a nasty head knock from last week. James Roberts will shift back into the centres and will need to be on his A Game defensively against the Storm.

PREVIEW

The Storm are arguably the most consistent and successful side in the NRL era. The Wests Tigers – on the other hand – are arguably the most inconsistent and disappointing side in the NRL era. See the difference between the two? The Storm won’t have to change a thing going into this match while the Tigers will need to find something, anything, to compete with the Storm. The Storm are the best team in the NRL in exposing an opposition’s weakness and will exploit the Tigers’ new combination on the edge.

KEY STAT

Head-to-head: both sides have faced each other 33 times, with the Storm winning 21 times. The previous two meetings have seen the Storm winning both contests.

PREDICTION

Judging by how the Tigers play this season, they should be up for this and make this a contest. They are up one week and down the next, but I cannot see this happening. The Tigers at one stage did defeat the Storm twice in one season,  but that was three years ago (2018). I don’t know if the Storm can score 40 points again but I wouldn’t bet against them and I expect a strong win.

Storm by 13+

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