2024 NRL: Round 17 Preview, Storm Vs Raiders

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 17 clash between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders.



Melbourne Storm Vs Canberra Raiders
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Date: Saturday June 29, 7:35pm


Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. William Warbrick, 3. Grant Anderson, 4. Jack Howarth, 5. Xavier Coates, 6. Tyran Wishart, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Tui Kamikamica, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Josh King, 11. Shawn Blore, 12. Eliesa Katoa, 13. Trent Loiero, 14. Christian Welch, 15. Bronson Garlick, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Joe Chan, 18. Reimis Smith, 19. Dean Ieremia, 20. Alec MacDonald, 21. Kane Bradley, 22. Sualauvi Faalogo, 23. Chris Lewis

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Albert Hopoate, 3. Matthew Timoko, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Xavier Savage, 6. Ethan Strange, 7. Kaeo Weekes, 8. Josh Papali’i, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Morgan Smithies, 14. Danny Levi, 15. Ata Mariota, 16. Trey Mooney, 17. Jordan Martin, 18. Simi Sasagi, 19. Zac Woolford, 20. Adam Cook, 21. James Schiller, 22. Emre Guler


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Super Saturday concludes at AAMI Park with the top of the table Melbourne taking on the Canberra Raiders.

Craig Bellamy has named his Origin stars Harry Grant and Xavier Coates to back up from Queensland duties mid-week at the MCG. Nick Meaney is a big exclusion, having injured his calf in last week’s 30-24 victory over fellow veteran coach Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins. Replacing Nick Meaney in that centre position will be Grant Anderson, who has featured a lot for Melbourne in recent times and proven himself to be a highly reliable backline utility. As for Melbourne’s bench, Craig is enjoying using Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Christian Welch as impact options up the middle.

Ricky Stuart hasn’t wielded the axe majorly despite back-to-back poor showings against the Cowboys and Wests Tigers. The only exclusion from the starting team last week is Nick Cotric, who injured his ankle late in the game. His replacement will be Albert Hopoate, who similarly to Grant Anderson has done a stellar job when called upon whether it be wing or centre. The exciting news out of Canberra this week will be handing a debut to second rower Jordan Martin, who will become the 398th player to wear the lime green jersey. Martin has impressed Stuart with his lower grade form and will slot into Canberra’s forward bench rotation.

The last place Canberra wants to go after conceding 36 points per game over the last month is Melbourne, and you’d imagine defence has been the focus of Stuart’s training this week after describing his team as “soft” following the match in Campbelltown. The last time these teams met at AAMI Park was in Round 24 last year where Melbourne won 48-2. If drastic improvements aren’t made this week in attitude and execution the Raiders might be facing similar bad news on Saturday night.

The Melbourne Storm are a no mercy team and are well studied week in and week out. They will identify that Canberra have issues defending their left edge, making the match-up between Xavier Savage and Will Warbrick an interesting battle to follow and look forward to. Up until last year’s 46-point thrashing Canberra’s record in Melbourne was astonishing: winning five in a row there between 2019 and 2023. Based on what I’ve seen over the last month, sadly for Canberra fans, I see this game going in a similar trajectory to the last time they met, but Stuart is an experienced coach and knows how to get much improved efforts in big games.

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


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Storm by 20 points.

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