: NRL Rugby League Round 23 - Knight v Storm at Hunter Stadium, Sunday the 18th of August 2013. Digital Image by Grant Trouville © nrlphotos.com

Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
Monday 24 March, AAMI Park

Gates open: 4:30pm; Kick-off: 7pm (NYC Kick-off: 4:45pm)

Broadcast: 
TV: Fox Sports 1, LIVE from 7pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass

Tickets: Tickets are available through Ticketek, book tickets here

Melbourne Storm will look to continue its positive start to the 2014 season when they take on Newcastle at AAMI Park on Monday night.

Coming off two close encounters early in the season requiring field goals to secure victory, Craig Bellamy’s side will be looking to start strong against the Knights to ensure they don’t make it a third nail biter in a row.

The Knights are coming off two successive losses to the hands of the Panthers and Raiders and will look to get back to winning ways at AAMI Park where they ended Storm's season in 2013.

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Storm has named an unchanged squad for Monday night's match, with halfback Cooper Cronk recovering well after his first game of the season, against Penrith on Saturday night. 

Youngsters Ben Hampton and Young Tonumaipea have performed well under pressure in the opening two matches of the season for Melbourne and will again be tested against a tough and experienced Knights’ outfit.

During the week, Storm further bolstered its ranks for the future with New Zealand international and star prop, Jesse Bromwich, agreeing to a new four-year deal which will see him stay with the club until 2018. Bromwich’s form to start the 2014 season has reaffirmed the much sought after prop's credentials and proved why he continues to be an integral part of Craig Bellamy’s Storm line-up.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett has named an 18-man squad for the clash against Storm. Round 2 debutant, Matt Minto, has been named at fullback after impressing in last weekend's loss to Canberra. Back-rower Beau Scott, has been one of the stand out performers for the Knights’ this season and will be one player the Storm defence must nullify.

Bennett will be preparing his Knights’ side to get on top early and inflict Storms’ first defeat of the season, using last year's semi-final victory as inspiration. Newcastle’s 18-16 victory at AAMI Park in 2013 was the club's first victory against Storm in Melbourne since 2004.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referees - Gerard Sutton and Gavin Morris

Sideline Officials – Steve Carrall and Dave Munro

Video Referees –  Steve Clark and Ben Galea

HEAD TO HEAD: 

Played: 31

Melbourne: 18

Newcastle: 13

PLAYER MATCH-UP: Jessie Bromwich v Kade Snowden

After starting his career as a second-rower, Knights’ Kade Snowden will step up and take on Storm star prop Jessie Bromwich in what promises to be a great match-up. Bromwich, who recently signed a contract extension with Storm will be brimming with confidence as his team looks to cement themselves in the top half of the table, while Snowden will be looking to help the Knights cause an upset.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Semi-Final, 2013 – Newcastle Knights 18 (Matt Hilder, Chris Houston, Akuila Uate, Tyrone Roberts) defeated Melbourne Storm 16 (Maurice Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Sisa Waqa, Cameron Smith)

LAST 5 MATCHES:

Semi-Final, 2013 – Newcastle Knights 18 (Matt Hilder, Chris Houston, Akuila Uate, Tyrone Roberts) defeated Melbourne Storm 16 (Maurice Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Sisa Waqa, Cameron Smith)

Round 23, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 23 (Jordan McLean, Bryan Norrie, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk) defeated Newcastle Knights 10 (Joseph Leilua, Akuila Uate, Kurt Gidley)

Round 14, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 16 (Maurice Blair, Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Cameron Smith) defeated Newcastle Knights 14 (Joseph Leilua, Tyrone Roberts)

Round 5, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 34 (Will Chambers, Matt Duffie, Ryan Hoffman, Todd Lowrie, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop, Cameron Smith) defeated Newcastle Knights 22 (James McManus, Neville Costigan, Jarrod Mullen, Kurt Gidley, Junior Sa’u)

Qualifying Final, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 18 (Beau Champion, Matt Duffie, Sika Manu, Cameron Smith) defeated Newcastle Knights 8 (Kurt Gidley, Akuila Uate, Kurt Gidley)