Match Preview - Round 3
Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks
Saturday 21 March, 7:30pm
TV: Fox Sports, LIVE from 7:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: 2GB, ABC Grandstand
Two clubs looking to rebound after Round 2 losses will meet at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Both Melbourne and Cronulla suffered narrow defeats last weekend and will be looking for improvement in Round 3. A 10 minute period to close the second half proved costly for Storm against the Sea Eagles last round while the Sharks were outlasted in a low scoring affair against the Broncos.
Returning to AAMI Park for the first time in season 2015, Storm will be keen to return to the winner's list in front of their home faithful in Melbourne and replicate their attacking form which saw them score three tries in 12 minutes against the Sea Eagles.
In team news, Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged line-up to that which lined up at Brookvale Oval last Saturday night. Storm's successful midweek challenge of Dale Finucane's dangerous contact suspension means the lock forward is available for the weekend's clash with the Sharks.
After sitting out the opening two weeks of the NRL season, Sharks state and international representative Luke Lewis has been included on an extended bench and is in line to make his first appearance in 2015, bolstering Cronulla's forward pack.
Historically, Melbourne hold a strong record over the Sharks in recent years with Storm last tasting defeat against Cronulla back in 2012 at Shark Park. At AAMI Park, the Club's record is even better winning five matches from five starts.
Saturday night's clash against the Sharks will be Storm's first home game of the season at AAMI Park. Round 3 is #PlayNRL Round across the NRL, promoting Junior Rugby League all over the country and driving the important message about having fun, making friends and staying fit.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Young Tonumaipea, 3. William Chambers, 4. Kurt Mann, 5. Marika Koroibete, 6. Blake Green, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith (c), 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Dale Finucane, 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 15. Tim Glasby, 16. Dayne Weston, 17. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Cronulla Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Gerard Beale, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Valentine Holmes, 6. Ben Barba, 7. Jeff Robson, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Michael Ennis, 10. Sam Tagataese, 11. Jayson Bukuya, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Paul Gallen (c), 14. Matt Prior, 15. Chris Heighington, 16. Anthony Tupou, 17. David Fifita, 18. Luke Lewis, 21. Tinirau Arona
Referee – Gavin Badger, Chris Sutton
Sideline Officials – Adam Reid, Clayton Sharpe
Video Referees – Steve Clarke and Luke Phillips
HEAD TO HEAD:
at AAMI Park
LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 9, 2014 – Melbourne Storm 48 (Tries: T.Glasby 2, M.Koroibete, M.Fonua, S.Waqa, J.Bromwich, W.Chambers, J.McLean; Goals: C.Smith 5) defeated Cronulla Sharks 6 (Tries: V.Holmes; M.Gordon 1)