Brad Inger previews the round twenty clash between the Warriors and the Storm at Mount Smart Stadium. Here’s what we have to look forward to.Subscribe to NothingButRL!
New Zealand Warriors Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Mount Smart Stadium
Date: Friday July 29, 6:00pm (8:00pm NZ Time)
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Marcelo Montoya 4. Adam Pompey 5. Ed Kosi 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tohu Harris 11. Euan Aitken 12. Josh Curran 13. Jazz Tevaga 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Jackson Frei 18. Tom Ale 20. Daejarn Asi 21. Ronald Volkman 22. Viliami Vailea 23. Taniela Otukolo
Several changes to the home side for their second game on New Zealand soil. Reece Walsh returns to fullback, which sees Chanel Harris-Tavita move to five-eighth, sending Daejarn Asi to the extended bench. Marcelo Montoya is named at centre, replacing Jesse Arthars, who has a thigh strain. Ed Kosi takes the open spot on the wing. Freddy Lussick rejoins the interchange and is joined by Jackson Frei in the young front rowers’ first game in the NRL since 2020.Embed 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. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Alec MacDonald 17. Jordan Grant 18. Chris Lewis 19. Cooper Johns 20. Young Tonumaipea 21. Tom Eisenhuth 22. Sualauvi Faalogo
No changes to the Storms starting 13 this week; however, one change was made to the interchange with Jordan Grant moving up, replacing Tom Eisenhuth, who moves down to the extended reserves.
Referee: Peter Gough
The Warriors come into round 20 after a frustrating defeat to the Raiders. They led the contest 14-0 at halftime, but an increase in errors and mental lapses saw them capitulate and let in 26 unanswered points. With nothing but pride left to play for the Warriors, they will be looking for a much-needed boost from the sellout New Zealand crowd to score an upset. They will need to continue their strong starts, utilising their middle forwards to bend the defensive line before letting Shaun Johnson and Walsh show some spark and create opportunities out on the edges. Playing for 80 minutes is going to be crucial.
The Storm come into round 20 on a four-game losing streak, with the last being a 24-12 defeat to the Rabbitohs. Craig Bellamy has been lost for words on why his side has fallen into this slump, and to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish, they need to find that winning formula again and getting the Warriors at this time could be just the ticket. They will have to target the Warrior’s edges, which have leaked points heavily this season; if they do that, then victory will be in their grasp.
Both sides have had a rocky few weeks and will be looking for a big bounceback here. The atmosphere will be amazing for the second soldout crowd in New Zealand in a row, but both sides have to show the ball plenty of respect with the game looking to be played in wet conditions.Embed from Getty Images
In the 48 clashes between these sides, the Storm has dominated the outcomes, winning 30 to the Warriors 16; they have also battled to two draws. The last match between these sides was on ANZAC day when the Storm won 70-10. The Warriors have not defeated the Storm in the regular season since 2015
Storm by 12
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