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Digital Image by Ian Knight © Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm) NRL, Rugby League, Round 19, Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders @ AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC, Saturday July 19th, 2014.

Round 23

Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks
Monday 16 August, 5:30pm

NYC kick-off from 3:15pm; Gates open 3:00pm

TV: Fox Sports 1 LIVE from 5:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: ABC Grandstand, 2GB

Melbourne host Cronulla on Saturday evening at AAMI Park hoping to return to the winner's list in Round 23 and consolidate their spot inside the top eight.

After a consistent month of football, Craig Bellamy's side slipped up against the Knights last weekend, conceding late tries to the Newcastle outfit, leaving Storm in seventh place right in the middle of the current logjam in the NRL.

Showing marked improvement defensively following the Round 17 bye, Bellamy will be keen to see his side lock down in defence once again this weekend against a Sharks outfit who have proved their scoring capabilities on more than one occasion this season.

Be at AAMI Park when Storm host the Sharks in Round 23. Tickets here.

Cronulla has recorded some of the season's most stunning upsets despite sitting in 16th position on the NRL ladder. Notable come-from-behind victories against the Broncos and reigning premiers the Roosters over the last six weeks will have Melbourne on high alert.

Since crossing the try-line just once against the Bulldogs in Round 18, Storm's attack has clicked over the past month with the experienced right edge combination of Will Chambers and Sisa Waqa proving clinical, helping their side to 116 points over four matches. Waqa was rewarded on a personal level last week, becoming just the fifth Melbourne Storm player to score four tries in a match and the first since 2009.

Travelling south has not been unfamiliar to the Sharks in recent years - they have made six trips to Melbourne over the last six seasons.

Jordan McLean was the only change to Storm's line-up for Round 23 after a hamstring complaint kept the hard running front-rower out of last weekend's meeting with the Knights. The 22-year old forward has been added to Craig Bellamy's extended bench.

James Shepherd's Sharks will welcome back skipper and talisman Paul Gallen after a virus kept the lock forward out of his side's trip to New Zealand. They also gain Tim Robinson and Matt Prior into the starting 17 as they try to cover the loss of experienced forwards Sam Tagataese and Andrew Fifita.

Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Sisa Waqa, 3. William Chambers, 4. Mahe Fonua, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Bryan Norrie, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 14. Tim Glasby, 15. Tohu Harris, 16. Kenny Bromwich, 17. Jordan McLean, 18. Junior Moors.

Cronulla Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Jonathan Wright, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Fa'amanu Brown, 7. Jeff Robson, 8. Tim Robinson, 9. Michael Lichaa, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Chris Heighington, 12. Tupou Sopoaga, 13. Paul Gallen (c), 14. Pat Politoni, 15. Junior Roqica, 16. Tinirau Arona, 17. Blake Ayshford.

Match Officials:

Referee – Matt Cecchin
Assistant Referee – Henry Perenara
Sideline Officials – Rickey MacFarlane and Anthony Eliott
Video Referees – Alan Shortall and Luke Phillips. 


Played: 27
Storm: 17
Sharks: 9
Draw: 1

Last time they met:

Round 13, 2013 - Melbourne Storm 38 (Tries: Maurice Blair, Tohu Harris, Ryan Hoffman, Justin O'Neill, Kevin Proctor, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated Cronulla Sharks 0 at AAMI Park.

Last 5 matches:

Round 13, 2013 - Melbourne Storm 38 (Tries: Maurice Blair, Tohu Harris, Ryan Hoffman, Justin O'Neill, Kevin Proctor, Billy Slater, Gareth Widdop; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated Cronulla Sharks 0 at AAMI Park.

Round 25, 2012 - Melbourne Storm 20 (Tries: Ryan Hoffman 2, William Chambers, Sisa Waqa; Goals: Cameron Smith 2) defeated Cronulla Sharks 18 (Tries: Isaac Gordon, Nathan Stapleton, Sam Tagataese; Goals: Todd Carney 3) at AAMI Park.

Round 10, 2012 - Melbourne Storm 10 (Tries: Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen; Goals: Cameron Smith 1) defeated by Cronulla Sharks 12 (Tries: Isaac Gordon, Jeremy Smith; Goals: Todd Carney 2) at Shark Park.

Round 12, 2011 - Melbourne Storm 14 (Tries: Dane Nielsen, Sisa Waqa; Goals: Cameron Smith 3) defeated Cronulla Sharks 8 (Tries: Isaac Gordon; Goals: Scott Porter 2) at AAMI Park.

Round 24, 2010 - Melbourne Storm 24 (Tries: Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sika Manu, Dane Nielsen, Cameron Smith; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Cronulla Sharks 4 (Tries: Luke Covell) at AAMI Park.

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.