NRL PREVIEW | ROUND 1 | Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Melbourne Storm

The wait for the 2018 NRL season is finally over. What a way to begin with a double-header at Perth Stadium. The second of the two games in Western Australia is between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the reigning premiers the Melbourne Storm.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

The Bulldogs gained big names Aaron Woods and Kieran Foran over the off season, while losing James Graham and Josh Reynolds. They’ll be looking to redeem themselves following their poor 2017 season, and the new players will be hoping to improve their side. The Bulldogs were successful in both of their trial matches, giving them confidence heading into the season.

Melbourne Storm

The Melbourne Storm had plenty of player movement during the off season, and their round one match in Perth will showcase their depth. Melbourne lost both trials against Newcastle and North Queensland, but convincingly won the World Club Challenge. They had a fantastic season in 2017, winning the grand final against North Queensland. They have been in top form for a few years, and will be looking to maintain that. The departure of Cooper Cronk may make that difficult in the first few rounds, with the team having to adapt to his loss.

Embed from Getty Images


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

New head coach Dean Pay will be hoping to have a strong influence on the Bulldogs. Kieran Foran is a big signing, and the Bulldogs are hopeful he will contribute immensely to their success. The line up for round one is strong. In gaining Aaron Woods, the Bulldogs have a strong forward, as well as someone with captaincy skills. Woods will be able to work with newly-appointed captain Josh Jackson. 

Melbourne Storm

In the week leading up to this match, Melbourne revealed that Billy Slater will be sidelined with a shoulder complaint following the World Club Challenge game. While he trained well last Friday, the complaint arose following that session. We are yet to see the full impact of Cronk’s move to the Sydney Roosters. Melbourne lost a number of players during the off season, which will have an impact on at least the first few rounds before new partnerships are able to grow.


The Bulldogs have a lot to prove this season. They have recruited and lost some great players, and after coming eleventh last season and having off field dramas, will want to make the finals. While the first game of the season doesn’t often prove too much, it will be important for the team to gain confidence and momentum. Coming up against Melbourne first is tough, however the Bulldogs can give the Storm a run for their money and gain confidence for a successful season.

We will be able to see how well the teams are coping with their gains and losses that took place over the off season. It will be the first major opportunity for new partnerships to work together on the big stage. The pressure of the first round will prove more about the new players and how well they are fitting in to their new club. It will be a test for both the Storm and the Bulldogs, which could potentially have an impact on the rest of 2018.


The Storm was successful the last time that the two sides played each other, in round one 2017. The Bulldogs have won seven of the last twelve.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

1. Moses Mbye

2. Brett Morris

3. Josh Morris

4. Will Hopoate

5. Marcelo Montoya

6. Matt Frawley

7. Kieran Foran

8. Aaron Woods

9. Michael Lichaa

10. David Klemmer

11. Josh Jackson

12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

13. Danny Fualalo

14. Adam Elliott

15. Aiden Tolman

16. Greg Eastwood

17. Jeremy Marshall-King


Melbourne Storm

  1. Cameron Munster
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu
  3. Will Chambers
  4. Curtis Scott
  5. Josh Addo-Carr
  6. Ryley Jacks
  7. Brodie Croft
  8. Jesse Bromwich
  9. Cameron Smith
  10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  11. Felise Kaufusi
  12. Ryan Hoffman
  13. Dale Finucane
  14. Tim Glasby
  15. Kenny Bromwich
  16. Christian Welch
  17. Joe Stimson


Date: Saturday, March 10th 2018

Venue: Perth Stadium

Kick-Off: 9:05PM (AEST)



While the odds are in Melbourne’s favour, the Bulldogs have a strong squad that can take down the Storm. Slater’s loss will impact Melbourne’s performance, but how significantly will be determined come game time. It should be a tight, entertaining game, however the Storm are still the team to beat. Melbourne by six.

Other Articles

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »