2024 NRL: Round 18 Preview, Tigers Vs Storm

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 18 clash between the Tigers and Storm.



Wests Tigers Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Date: Saturday, July 6, 5:30 pm


Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula, 2. Luke Laulilii, 3. Solomona Faataape, 4. Adam Doueihi, 5. Charlie Staines, 6. Lachlan Galvin, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Stefano Utoikamanu, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. Fonua Pole, 11. John Bateman, 12. Samuela Fainu, 13. Justin Matamua, 14. Heath Mason, 15. Sione Fainu, 16. Alex Seyfarth, 17. David Klemmer, 18. Reuben Porter, 19. Tallyn Da Silva, 20. Solomon Alaimalo, 21. Kit Laulilii, 22. Justin Olam

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

Referee: Peter Gough

Embed from Getty Images


The Tigers didn’t have a happy day out at Allianz Stadium, losing by 34 points. A couple of questionable sin bins, one of which referees boss Graham Annesley admitted was off the mark, didn’t help them; from there, it was hard for them to mount a comeback. Fonua Pole scored a good try in the game’s final moments.

Benji Marshall has made a few changes from the side that lost to the Roosters, with Charlie Staines named on the wing and Solomona Faatape moving into the centres. Brent Naden drops out of the team. After starting from the bench, John Bateman will start in the second row. Heath Mason is on the bench with Reuben Porter the 18th Man. Justin Olam has been named as a reserve. Keep an eye on him to see if he moves into the starting side closer to kick-off.

The Storm had a hard-fought win (16-6) over a Raiders side that normally troubles them at AAMI Park. Still without Cameron Munster, and no Ryan Papenhuyzen, the Storm went about their business. The win was the Storm’s sixth in a row, and they sit four points ahead of the Panthers on top of the ladder.

Papenhuyzen returns at fullback this weekend, with Sualauvi Faalogo moving back to the bench. Xavier Coates injured his hamstring, and Kane Bradley comes onto the wing. Harry Grant will be rested again, with Bronson Garlick starting at hooker again. After returning from a concussion in the NSW Cup, Reimis Smith has been named the 18th Man.

Head-to-head, the Storm have won 25 out of 37 games played against the Tigers, but one stat doesn’t look good. Out of 15 games played at Leichhardt Oval, the Storm have only won six (Tigers are 8-5 over the Storm, with one being in 1998 against Balmain).

After being one of the Storm’s best last week, Garlick goes up against one of the best hookers in the NRL, Api Koroisau. This will be a big test for Garlick, though he does have a good record playing at hooker with eight wins from 10 starts.

Another key match-up is the battle of the number sixes, Lachlan Galvin and Tyran Wishart. Galvin has been earmarked as a star of the future for the Tigers and shows glimpses of that brilliance. Wishart has been the Storm’s Mr Fixit and seems to grow in confidence with each win.

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


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Storm by 18 points.

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