Photo by Colin Whelan copyright © nrlphotos.com :     Sisa Waqa                          NRL Rugby League, Round 20 Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium, Friday July 25th 2014.

Round 26 - Match Preview

Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Friday 5 September, 7:45pm at AAMI Park

NRL: 7:45pm; NYC: 5:30pm; Gates open: 5:15pm

Broadcast
TV: Channel GEM, LIVE from 7:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: 2GB, ABC Grandstand, Triple M

Melbourne Storm will host the eighth-placed Brisbane Broncos on Friday night at AAMI Park in the final round of the 2014 home and away season.

Melbourne, who currently sits equal fifth on the ladder with the Cowboys, will be hoping to finish the season with a victory in front of its home fans as they look to lock in a finals berth.

Friday night’s fixture also has high stakes for the Broncos as they look to cement a position in the top eight and put themselves into week one of the NRL’s post-season.

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Storm has won the last seven matches against the Broncos who have previously recorded only one win at AAMI Park back in 2010. In Round 20 earlier this season, Melbourne travelled north to Suncorp Stadium, converting their chances to seal a strong 30-8 away victory.

Craig Bellamy’s side will set out on returning to the winner’s list on Friday night after going down to the Roosters last weekend. Storm faced off against a bolstered Sydney line-up in Round 25 with the reigning premiers managing to pull away in the final 15 minutes of an otherwise tight contest.

Anthony Griffen and his Brisbane outfit came up against a strong Dragons unit last weekend, managing to make it two wins in a row thanks to an 8-point victory.

History suggests Friday night’s contest will be another tight affair with both sides having everything to play for. Melbourne have won 23 out of a possible 35 against the Broncos and will be hoping to extend their winning margin as they prepare for finals football.

Broncos enforcer Sam Thaiday will miss Friday night’s match-up against Storm after being charged with a grade one dangerous contact offence.

Match Officials:

Referees – Jared Maxwell and Grant Atkins

Sideline Officials – Jason Walsh and Brett Suttor

Video Referees – Steve Clark and Luke Phillips

Head-to-head:

Played: 35

Storm: 23

Broncos: 11

Draw: 1

Last 5 Matches:

Round 20, 2014 – Melbourne Storm 30 (Ryan Hoffman 2, Cooper Cronk, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Marika Koroibete; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated Brisbane Broncos 8 (Dale Copley, Alex Glenn)

Round 17 2013 – Melbourne Storm 32 (Maurice Blair 2, Jesse Bromwich, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Justin O’Neill, Sisa Waqa; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Brisbane Broncos 0

Round 4, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 32 (Billy Slater 3, Matt Duffie 2, Junior Sa’u; Goals: Cameron Smith 4) defeated Brisbane Broncos 26 (Josh Hoffman 3, Alex Glenn, Jack Reed; Goals: Scott Prince 3)

Round 24, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 19 (Sisa Waqa 2, Cooper Cronk; Goals: Cameron Smith 3; Field Goals: Cooper Cronk) defeated Brisbane Bronco 18 (Ben Te’o 2, Justin Hodges; Goals: Peter Wallace 3)

Round 12, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 34 (Todd Lowrie 2, Billy Slater 2, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill; Goals: Gareth Widdop 5) defeated Brisbane Broncos 10 (Ben Te’o, Jack Reed; Goals: Corey Parker 1)

The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.