2023 NRL Preview Round 11: Storm Vs Broncos

Dylan Jhugroo previews the Round 11 match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos.



Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Date: Thursday May 11, 7:50pm


Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Aaron Pene 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Grant Anderson 18. Tyran Wishart 19. Tariq Sims 20. Tepai Moeroa 21. Tui Kamikamica 22. Jayden Nikorima

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 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. Patrick Carrigan 14. Cory Paix 15. Corey Jensen 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Martin Taupau 18. Deine Mariner 19. Keenan Palasia 20. Jock Madden 21. Brendan Piakura 22. Xavier Willison

Referee: Todd Smith

Embed from Getty Images


The high-flying Broncos have a trip down south this Thursday night, as they take on a Melbourne Storm side reeling from a disappointing Magic Round defeat to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The most ardent Storm supporter would tell you that Craig Bellamy’s side didn’t play anywhere near good enough last Saturday night. They were simply outclassed by the Rabbitohs, with a late Bronson Garlick try locking in a 28-12 scoreline that was fairly generous on Melbourne. The Storm only managed one line break in the game, and almost 100 fewer post contact meters than South Sydney. The side are struggling across the park, with a loss to Manly and a controversial ANZAC day win over the Warriors making up the remainder of their last 3 games. The Storm never stays down for long – but they’ll want to start putting it together very soon.

The Broncos on the other hand are loving season 2023. They bounced straight out of a tough 32-6 loss to South Sydney to inflict the exact same score line on the Sea Eagles and are playing like a side who are really enjoying their footy. Those critical of Brisbane will point out the extent to which they crumbled once they came up against a tough Rabbitohs side, but that’s searching for negatives about one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. But that said – it’s games like this that premiership contenders get results from. A cold Victorian Thursday night against a side fresh off a Bellamy blow-up. It should be fantastic.

KEY MATCHUP – Are there two physically larger men in Rugby League than Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Payne Haas? The two props weigh a combined 232kg and use every ounce they’ve got to set the tone against opposition forward packs. Both play in dominant packs that are full of quality, but there’ll only be one that gets on top of the other on Thursday night, and it’s anyone’s guess who it’ll be.

UNDER PRESSURE – His spot in the side isn’t necessarily under pressure due to his status and highlight reel, but Xavier Coates had a night to forget in Magic Round. The winger made three errors against Souths and struggled to inject himself into the game. With Origin selection on the horizon, the likes of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Murray Taulagi will surely put pressure on him to retain his spot.


Storm 10, Broncos 0.


Storm by 4 points.

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