2022 NRL Round 23 Preview, Broncos Vs Storm

Nathan Smith previews the Friday night encounter between the Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm. Here’s what we have to look forward to…

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MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Brisbane Broncos Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Friday 19th August, 7:55pm (local)

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Jake Turpin 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ryan James 18. Jordan Pereira 19. Cory Paix 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Xavier Willison 22. Zac Hosking

Kevin Walters has made no changes to the team that beat the Newcastle Knights last week, confident this squad can get the job done again.

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Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17. Tyran Wishart 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Jayden Nikorima 20. Grant Anderson 21. Jordan Grant 22. Trent Loiero

The Storm have a big inclusion, with their halfback Jahrome Hughes returning from a shoulder injury. The only other change is Young Tonumaipe’a coming into the centre spot for Mario Seve, who drops out with a hamstring injury.

Referee: Todd Smith

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

As the regular NRL season draws to a close, there is still a wide range of outcomes in regards to the final top eight that are yet to be decided. This Friday, these two sides will meet with two very different goals: for the Storm, they will want to lock in their top four spot, while the Broncos want to keep their spot in the eight safe.

The Storm has recovered well from a late-season slump, posting two wins back-to-back. Last week, they toppled the Penrith Panthers at home on the back of a Cameron Munster masterclass. Though the home side had a few players out, they’ve shown in recent years it’s no easy feat getting one on them at home. With that win, they kept their top four spot safe for the time being. However, there are a few sides below them who could yet snatch it, which makes winning over the next few weeks vital.

The Broncos snapped a two-game losing streak with a win over the Newcastle Knights. It would have come as a huge relief, as despite a much improved 2022 season, they are still no certainties to finish in the top eight. Currently on 28 points, one would think at least one more win over the next three weeks would seal it. There would be no better way to chalk that up against a side they’ve struggled with in recent years.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, the Storm welcome back their halfback Jahrome Hughes, which will add some much-needed direction to their attack. Cameron Munster has been named at five-eighth, however, with how well he’s played at fullback in recent weeks, it may yet be a change Craig Bellamy opts to make. Certainly, there’s no secret that if the Broncos can find a way to shut Munster down, they will come a lot closer to winning this one. The most important stat they need to limit: Munster averages 141 running metres per game. Simply put, the more he runs, the more opportunities he creates.

The Broncos will need to be particularly disciplined with their line speed to stop the Storm. They will miss Patrick Carrigan, who has been shown to be particularly vocal and diligent in encouraging his teammates to sprint off their line. In this regard, the experienced, premiership-winning forward Kurt Capewell needs to demonstrate his leadership qualities. In attack, there’s a bit of inexperience on the Storm’s edges, particularly their right. The addition of David Nofoaluma has helped out, however, it would be worth sending a few up and seeing if the taller Selwyn Cobbo can get over him.

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INTERESTING FACT

  • The Broncos’ record against the Storm is dismal. They’ve played them a total of 51 times, for only 13 wins.
  • Forget a home-ground advantage. These two sides have played at Suncorp 19 times, with the Storm having won 16 of those.
  • Most notably: the Storm has won their past ten against the Broncos, most by big margins. You would have to travel back to 2016 to find the last time the Broncos were able to defeat the Storm.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Melbourne Storm 1-12

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