Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos
Venue: AAMI Park
Date: Friday, June 17, 7:55pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Trent Loiero 17. Chris Lewis 18. Jayden Nikorima 19. Alec MacDonald 20. Jordan Grant 22. Tyran Wishart 23. Jack Howarth
Melbourne name the same 17 as last week, with Harry Grant and Nelson Asofa-Solomona returning to the starting lineup in place of Brandon Smith and Tui Kamikamica. Grant Anderson and Marion Seve also switch positions. Ryan Papenhuyzen was initially named in jersey 21 with a chance to return from injury, but he will miss this game due to contracting Covid-19.Embed from Getty Images
Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Jake Turpin 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Jordan Pereira 19. Rhys Kennedy 20. Delouise Hoeter 21. Xavier Willison 22. Ryan James
Injuries have forced some major changes to Brisbane’s lineup this week. Captain Adam Reynolds is out with broken ribs, and he is replaced by Tyrone Roberts who makes his Broncos debut. Herbie Farnworth’s season is over after tearing his bicep, but Brisbane is able to replace him with Kotoni Staggs who was rested after Origin. Kurt Capewell and Selwyn Cobbo also return, replacing Jordan Pereira and T.C Robati. Bench utility Cory Paix is also out with a torn MCL, he’s replaced by Jake Turpin who just a few weeks ago was told he was no longer required by the club.
Referee: Adam Gee
Coming off seven straight wins, Brisbane faces their biggest test yet in the second-placed Melbourne Storm. The Broncos pulled off a gutsy win against the Raiders last week, going down to just one healthy interchange player, but it has left them very understrength against a Storm side quickly regaining form after a couple of rough weeks.
If Melbourne wants to have any chance of keeping up with Penrith at the top of the table, these are the games they need to win. The team has won two and lost two since Ryan Papenhuyzen went down with an injury, and a third loss could resign them to a second-placed finish despite it only being in June.
As for the Broncos, beating Melbourne without Reynolds will certify their premiership credentials. The team is entrenched in the battle for fourth-place as is, and with the Cowboys in great form they will have to limit their losses if they want to move any further up the table.
Traditionally, Melbourne and Brisbane have had a fantastic, but usually one-sided, rivalry. The two teams matched up in every finals series between 2004 and 2009, with Melbourne eliminating Brisbane on every occasion except 2006 when they met in the Grand Final.Embed from Getty Images
- Overall record: Played 50, Storm 36, Brisbane 13, 1 draw.
- Biggest wins: Melbourne 50-4 (Round 4, 2005), Brisbane 48-20 (Round 21, 2002)
- Cameron Smith played the most matches in this fixture, with 36.
- Notable players who played for both sides: Adam Blair, Richard Swain, Israel Folau, Todd Lowrie
Melbourne by 16
Follow Nothing But Rugby League on Facebook