Round 7
Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders
Sunday 20 April, 3pm at GIO Stadium

NRL: 3pm; NYC: 12:45pm

Broadcast:
TV: Channel GEM, from 4pm (1 hour delay)
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: ABC Grandstand, 2GB

Melbourne Storm will travel to Canberra this weekend looking for back-to-back wins when they face the Raiders on Easter Sunday.

Storm enter the match, coming off yet another close encounter in 2014, having downed the Dragons with a try after the siren at AAMI Park on Monday night.

On a night where Storm looked down and out during the second half, Melbourne’s halves combination of Ben Roberts and Cooper Cronk provided plenty of creativity to spark their side’s comeback. The two playmakers combined well throughout the evening creating a crucial try in the 70th minute, which lifted the rest of the team and the vocal fans around AAMI Park.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, there was no such comeback at GIO Stadium against Newcastle last weekend. The Knights were able to finish off the second half strongly and round out the game 26-12 victors. For the Raiders, Lock Shaun Fensom was a stand out with 50 tackles and 140 metres gained in a strong performance against an in-form Knights outfit. Ricky Stuart’s men will look to regain some momentum as his side faces three losses on the trot if he is unsuccessful this weekend.

Fan up with Melbourne Storm this ANZAC Day, book your tickets today.

Historically, Storm hold a strong record in Canberra, winning 11 out of 16 games against the Raiders on their home turf. Last time the two sides met, Craig Bellamy’s side ran rampant defeating Canberra 68-4 in Round 21 last year. The victory is the club’s equal biggest winning margin ever.

The match between Storm and Raiders will no doubt be an interesting affair, as Melbourne struggle to fight for consistency in their season and Canberra do not want to face another thumping from Storm on home turf.

After an impressive performance in Round 6, Ben Roberts will be one player to watch on Sunday for Melbourne. For the Raiders, it will be Jarrod Croker’s ability to find the football and get over the try line and captain Terry Campese’s playmaking nous will be key for the Raiders going forward.

Storm coach Bellamy has named an unchanged line up for the match at GIO Stadium. Ben Roberts impressive display at five-eighth against the Dragons has earned him another start, whilst Dayne Weston returns to the extended bench after serving a one game suspension. Melbourne will be without Will Chambers after the match review committee handed down a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge.

The Raiders have made one change in their line up with Joel Edwards returning, relegating Jarrad Kennedy to the extended bench.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referees – Gerard Sutton and David Munro

Sideline Officials – Steve Carrall and Clayton Sharpe

Video Referees – Luke Phillips and Matt Rodwell

HEAD TO HEAD:

Played: 33

Melbourne: 24

Canberra: 9

PLAYER MATCH-UP:

Billy Slater v Anthony Milford

Both Billy Slater and Anthony Milford have enjoyed strong starts to the 2014 NRL season.

Slater always poses a threat to opposition defences, sweating on his opponents mistakes, ready to capitalize. The Storm fullback has recorded an impressive 753 meters gained after six rounds of competition this season. 

Milford, will be looking to overshadow his Storm opponent in front of the Raiders’ home crowd. The 19-year old has shown he has the ability to match it with the best and leads Canberra for meters gained in 2014.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Round 21, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 68 (Tries: Mahe Fonua 3, Sisa Waqa 3, Will Chambers 2, Billy Slater 2, Tohu Harris, Kevin Proctor; Goals: Cameron Smith 10) defeated Canberra Raiders 4 (Tries: Anthony Milford)

LAST 5 MATCHES:

Round 21, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 68 (Tries: Mahe Fonua 3, Sisa Waqa 3, Will Chambers 2, Billy Slater 2, Tohu Harris, Kevin Proctor; Goals: Cameron Smith 10) defeated Canberra Raiders 4 (Tries: Anthony Milford)

Round 8, 2013 – Canberra Raiders 24 (Tries: Blake Ferguson 2, Reece Robinson, Jack Wighton; Goals: Blake Ferguson 4) defeated Melbourne Storm 20 (Tries: Jesse Bromwich, Mahe Fonua, Justin O’Neill, Billy Slater; Goals: Cameron Smith 2)

Round 18, 2012 – Canberra Raiders 40 (Tries: Edrick Lee 3, Sandor Earl 2, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Reece Robinson; Goals: Jarrod Croker) defeated Melbourne Storm 12 (Tries: Justin O’Neill 2; Goals: Gareth Widdop 2)

Round 1, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 24 (Tries: Billy Slater 2, Cooper Cronk, Justin O’Neill; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Canberra Raiders 19 (Tries: Glen Buttriss, Shaun Fensom, Josh McCrone; Goals: Jarrod Croker 3; Field goal: Josh Dugan)

Round 19, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 26 (Tries: Matthew Duffie 2, Jesse Bromwich, Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hinchcliffe; Goals: Cameron Smith) defeated Canberra Raiders 0