2024 NRL: Round 10 Preview, Storm Vs Sharks

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 10 clash between the Storm and the Sharks.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Melbourne Storm Vs Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Venue: AAMI Park
Date: Saturday, 11 May 2024, 7:35pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Storm: 1. Sualauvi Faalogo, 2. William Warbrick, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Nick Meaney, 5. Grant Anderson, 6. Tyran Wishart, 7. Cameron Munster, 8. Christian Welch, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Josh King, 11. Shawn Blore, 12. Eliesa Katoa, 13. Trent Loiero, 14. Bronson Garlick, 15. Joe Chan, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Alec MacDonald, 18. Kane Bradley, 19. Jack Howarth, 20. Dean Ieremia, 21. Chris Lewis, 22. Tui Kamikamica

Sharks: 1. William Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Kayal Iro, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Daniel Atkinson, 7. Nicho Hynes, 8. Thomas Hazelton, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Oregon Kaufusi, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Cameron McInnes, 14. Jack Williams, 15. Siosifa Talakai, 16. Royce Hunt, 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 18. Tuku Hau Tapuha, 19. Mawene Hiroti, 20. Samuel Stonestreet, 21. Kade Dykes, 22. Billy Burns

Referee: Adam Gee

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

A top of the table clash awaits in Melbourne on Saturday night as first placed Cronulla Sharks visit AAMI Park. Both sides enter the match with a 7 win, 1 loss record with a bye, with the Sharks sitting in first on points differential.

Cronulla have been quietly going about their 2024 campaign with minimal fuss and headlines, racking up the competition points and Dally M points for Nicho Hynes. But the Sharks have yet to play a team that is currently higher than eighth on the ladder, although have played last season’s top four finisher the Warriors, so this Melbourne game is their first big test for the 2024 season.

The Storm meanwhile played all last season’s top four opponents by round 4, plus good wins over current top eight sides Roosters and Bulldogs. Their games have been close though, with four games decided by two points and only one game’s margin exceeding eight points. That was their annual defeat of the Rabbitohs at home by an opposition coach-sacking 34 points. So, the Storm have been used to fighting this season and should be prepared to do so again on Saturday.

Sadly, Melbourne’s excitement machine fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen suffered another injury last weekend and will be out for between four to six weeks according to the club. But the silver lining there is that their young gun Sualauvi Faalogo gets an extended chance at fullback, where he has been named for this Round 10 clash. He showed enough in his limited time last week to know that Melbourne has a more than capable replacement. He signed a five-year deal at the start of the season, so there’s plenty of time.

Another star missing for the Storm is halfback Jahrome Hughes who has a calf injury and is replaced by the Melbourne Mr Fix It Tyran Wishart, who has played halfback for the Storm a few times before among other positions and regular interchange appearances. Jonah Pezet likely would have come in, but he injured his knee playing for the Tigers in the Queensland Cup.

An extended bench has been named for both sides, but for Melbourne Tui Kamikamica is named in jersey 22, so he may push for a spot in the side or on the bench and see a change in the current top 17.

Much like their 2024 season, there’s little disruption for Cronulla for this game, with Toby Rudolf out of the team with a knee injury and his place on the bench taken by Royce Hunt.

As you’d expect with a top of the table clash, there’s some great match ups ahead for Saturday. One involves the key players Cameron Munster and Nicho Hynes, a potential preview to State of Origin One five eighths if some rumours are true. Sharks’ winger Ronaldo Mulitalo was leading the try scoring at one stage this season, but hasn’t scored in two games, and the Storm’s high trying scoring Will Warbrick isn’t quite as prolific this season. Both are fit and looking to benefit from their star halves above. There’s plenty of impact on the bench so with Siosifa Talakai and Melbourne man-mountain Nelson Asofa-Solomona among the players named on the bench. Both sides looked to have gone with size.

As for the stats for this game they can go either way. On one hand the Storm are 5 wins and no losses at home this season and are unbeaten against all Sydney clubs in 2024, including the reigning premiers. And Melbourne have won six of their last seven versus Cronulla, plus 12 from 14 against Cronulla at AAMI Park. But alternatively, Melbourne have a soft spot at home on a Saturday night. In general Saturday is the worst day for Melbourne at home. Saturday is the Storm’s lowest winning strike rate at (only) 72% since 1998 but that drops to 56% since 2020. It’s a real 50-50, as any good top of the table clash should be.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 10 Number Crunch.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Check out all the NRL Predictions for round 10 here.

Storm by 2 points.

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