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Justin O'Neill (Melbourne Storm):	NRL, Rugby League, Finals Week 01, Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons @ AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC, Sunday March 10th, 2013. Digital Image by Brett Crockford ©

Round 6
Melbourne Storm v St George-Illawara Dragons
Monday 14 April, 7pm at AAMI Park

NRL: 7pm; NYC: 4:45pm; Gates open: 4:30pm


TV: Fox Sports 1, LIVE from 7pm

Online: NRL Digital Pass

Radio: ABC GrandstandTriple M Sydney

Melbourne will come up against St. George Illawara on Monday night at AAMI Park looking to return to the winner's list after consecutive losses.

With both sides currently sitting equal on six points apiece after five rounds of the NRL Premiership, Craig Bellamy and Steve Price will be hoping their respective sides can secure victory an improve their ladder position on what is an extremely tight NRL table.

Storm enter the clash coming off two successive losses at the hands of the Bulldogs in Perth and then to the Titans at home in a nail biting contest at AAMI Park. St. George Illawarra's recent form has not been too dissimilar. The Dragons will also be looking to turn around their misfortunes on Monday night after suffering losses in the last two rounds.

Melbourne hold a strong record over the St. George Illawarra, winning 19 of their 27 encounters since 1998. Historically, St. George have struggled when playing in Melbourne, the last time the Dragons tasted victory in Victoria came back in 1999.

Storm will need tighten up their defence for the match, having conceded 127 points in five outings so far this season. 

Cooper Cronk and Sisa Waqa combined to great effect last weekend and will look to replicate the killer instinct which lead to multiple tries again on Monday night. 

The Dragons boast plenty of depth and quality in their lineup with Josh Dugan and Brett Morris always a constant threat to opposition defences. Melbourne will know they have to shut down the creativity of these two Origin representatives if they are to bounce back in Round 6. Morris leads the Dragons for tries scored so far this season with  four, while Dugan, who returned to the squad last week from a knee injury, will look to provide the Dragons with yet another option in attack and provide some stability in the number one jersey.

Bellamy has made only one change to the lineup that took on Gold Coast last weekend. Forward Tim Glasby has been named on the bench, replacing Dayne Weston who will serve a one-week suspension.

Stemming from last week's loss, Steve Price has opted for a reshuffle of his squad that suffered a disappointing loss to South Sydney in Round 5. Mitchel Witt has been named at halfback and Bronson Harrison will join the interchange bench due to Jack De Belin’s suspension. Adam Quinlan comes into an extended squad as 18th man.


Referees – Matt Cecchin and Grant Atkins

Sideline Officials – Steve Carrall and Adam Reid

Video Referees – Henry Perenara and Steve Folkes.


Played: 27

Melbourne:  19

St. George Illawara: 7

Draw: 1


Ben Hampton v Gareth Widdop

Melbourne's current number six will take on the club's former number six in the battle of the five-eigths.

Ben Hampton has started the season well, featuring in all five matches of the 2014 campaign. The 22-year is beginning to settle at first-grade level and will be looking to continue improving and performing to cement his spot as Storm’s first choice five-eighth.

Widdop, a Storm five-eighth of the past, will line up against his former club for the first time as a St. George Illawara player. Widdop’s career at Storm began in 2010 after graduating from the club's U20 side and spanned until the end of 2013, along the way playing a pivotal role in the club's 2012 Premiership victory. The English international has enjoyed a brilliant start to life as a Dragon and sits second in the competition for try assists with six for the season.


Round 1, 2013 - Melbourne Storm 30 (Tries: Justin O’Neill 2, Mahe Fonua, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated St. George Illawara Dragons 10 (Tries: Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward; Goals: Jamie Soward)


Round 1, 2013 - Melbourne Storm 30 (Tries: Justin O’Neill 2, Mahe Fonua, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated St. George Illawara Dragons 10 (Tries: Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward; Goals: Jamie Soward)

Round 21, 2012 - St. George Illawara Dragons 26 (Tries: Brett Morris 3, Trent Merrin, Beau Scott; Goals: Chase Stanley 3) defeated Melbourne Storm 18 (Tries: Will Chambers, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Kevin Proctor; Goals: Cameron Smith 3)

Round 24, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 8 (Tries: Anthony Quinn; Goals: Cameron Smith 2) defeated St. George Illawara Dragons 6 (Tries: Kyle Stanley; Goals: Jamie Soward 1)

Round 4, 2010 – Melbourne Storm 17 (Tries: Dane Nielsen, Anthony Quinn, Billy Slater; Goals: Cameron Smith 2; Field goals: Cooper Cronk 1) defeated St. George Illawara Dragons 4 (Tries: Jason Nightingale)

Round 21, 2009 - St. George Illawara Dragons 26 (Tries: Wendell Sailor 2, Jon Green, Brett Morris, Beau Scott; Goals: Jamie Soward 3) defeated Melbourne Storm 12 (Tries: Brett Finch, Greg Inglis; Goals: Cameron Smith 2)

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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