: NRL Round 9, Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm, Centrebet Stadium, Sunday 12th May 2013. Photo: Copyright © Renee McKay/Action Photographics

Complete Guide - Rd.2 v Penrith

Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers
Saturday 15 March, AAMI Park

Gates open: 3pm; Kick-off: 5.30pm (NYC Kick-off: 3:15pm)

Broadcast: 
TV: Fox Sports 1, LIVE from 5:30pm
Radio: 2GB with Andrew Moore and Steve Roach; ABC Grandstand
Online: NRL Digital Pass

TICKETS

Tickets are available through Ticketek, book tickets here.

Storm will take on the Panthers at AAMI Park on Saturday night after both teams kicked off the 2014 season with emphatic Round 1 wins.

Craig Bellamy’s side staged a memorable second half comeback last weekend with Cameron Smith sealing the 23-22 win with a drop goal in golden point extra time.

After an emphatic win in Round 1, Melbourne Storm’s ranks will be bolstered with the return of Dally M Medallist, Cooper Cronk. Promising youngster Ben Hampton, keeps his place in the starting line-up with Cronk making his way into halfback. Ben Roberts, who performed well in the playmaking role last week, has moved onto an extended interchange bench.

Be there this Saturday to support Cam and Billy and their milestones. Book your tickets to Storm v Panthers, 5:30pm AAMI Park here

Not only is this an important match for both teams as they attempt to cement themselves into an early position on the ladder, but also a very special match for two of the rugby league’s champion players, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.

Slater will be just the third player ever to reach the 250th game milestone for Storm, while Smith becomes the club’s games record holder as he surpasses Matt Geyer’s achievement of 262 games.

Penrith started the season with a strong performance over Newcastle in Round 1. Ivan Cleary’s men dictated play in the second half allowing the Panthers to pile on the pressure and finish the match 30-8 victors. 

Last week’s impressive performance included debuts to new recruits in Peter Wallace, Elijah Taylor and high impact player, Jamie Soward.

Soward was instrumental for the Panthers in their dominance in the second half against Newcastle. The playmaker’s kicking game is already having explosive effect on Cleary’s side with the Panthers gaining more metres than any other team in Round 1.

For the match in Melbourne, Cleary has made only minor changes to the look of his last week’s side. Star centre, Jamal Idris, has not been named for the clash as he continues to overcome a hamstring injury.

Saturday night’s clash at AAMI Park is shaping up to be an intriguing match. Penrith will want to continue their bright start to  the new year while Storm will be hoping to make an historic night more memorable for the club with victory.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referees - Ashley Klein and Adam Gee

Sideline Officials - Paul Holland and Adam Reid

Video Referees - Steve Chiddy and Paul Mellor

HEAD TO HEAD:

Played: 26

Melbourne: 19

Penrith: 7

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Round 9, 2013 – Penrith Panthers 12 (David Simmons 2, Travis Robinson) defeated Melbourne Storm 10 (Jesse Bromwich, Sisa Waqa)

LAST 5 MATCHES:

Round 9, 2013 – Penrith Panthers 12 (David Simmons 2, Travis Robinson) defeated Melbourne Storm 10 (Jesse Bromwich, Sisa Waqa)

Round 22, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 46 (Cooper Cronk 2, Justin O’Neill 2, Sisa Waqa, Jesse Bromwich, Sika Manu) defeated Penrith Panthers 6 (Matt Robinson)

Round 9, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 44 (Justin O’Neill 3, Will Chambers, Cooper Cronk, Matthew Duffie, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hoffman) defeated Penrith Panthers 10 (Josh Mansour, Etuate Uaisele)

Round 22, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 26 (Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor, Billy Slater) defeated Penrith Panthers 6 (Adrian Purtell)

Round 6, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 25 (Cooper Cronk, Matthew Duffie, Bryan Norrie, Billy Slater) defeated Penrith Panthers 10 (Sandor Earl, Timana Tahu)

RECORDS:

  • Melbourne captain Cameron Smith will become the most capped Storm player in the club’s history, surpassing Matt Geyer on 262 games.
  • Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater will become only the third player to reach 250 games in the club’s history.