Match Preview - Round 4
North Queensland Cowboys v Melbourne Storm
Monday 30 March, 7pm
TV: Fox Sports, LIVE from 7:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: Triple M, ABC Grandstand
Melbourne will face a North Queensland outfit on Monday night determined to record their first win of 2015.
The Cowboys are coming off a 22-point loss to the Broncos last weekend, also suffering defeats at the hands of Newcastle and the Roosters in the opening two rounds of the season.
Melbourne move into the match-up following their most complete performance of the year to date last round against the Sharks. While the 36-18 victory was still not yet the complete 80 minute performance Craig Bellamy is striving for, Melbourne took positive steps forward against the Sharks and will be hoping to consolidate in both defence and attack on Monday night in Townsville.
Bellamy has named the same 17 who faced Cronulla last Saturday night at AAMI Park, also including forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and youngster Hymel Hunt in his 19-man squad.
For North Queensland, winger Antonio Winterstein will make his return for the Cowboys on Monday night after missing two matches while on personal leave. Kyle Feldt and former Storm flyer Justin O'Neill have both been pushed out and left off Paul Green's 18-man squad.
Historically Melbourne hold an advantage over North Queensland, boasting a 70% winning record. On the road, Storm have only lost five matches out of 17 visits to Townsville.
Last time the two sides met, Melbourne entered the clash fielding a young with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater both forced to miss through injury. There was no stopping a rampaging Cowboys line-up who held Storm scoreless for just the second time since 2008.
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. Felise Kaufusi, 18. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, 19. Hymel Hunt
North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote, 2. Matthew Wright, 3. Tautau Moga, 4. Kane Linnett, 5. Antonio Winterstein, 6. Michael Morgan, 7. Johnathan Thurston (c), 8. Matthew Scott (c), 9. Rory Kostjasyn, 10. James Tamou, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Ethan Lowe, 13. Jason Taumalolo, 14. Jake Granville, 15. Kelepi Tanginoa, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Ben Hannant, 18. John Asiata
Referees – Ben Cummins, Henry Perenara
Sideline Officials – Russell Turner, Adam Gee
Video Referees – Jared Maxwell, Steve Folkes
HEAD TO HEAD:
North Queensland: 8
at 1300SMILES Stadium
North Queensland: 5
LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 12, 2014 – Melbourne Storm 0 defeated by North Queensland Cowboys 22 (Tries: K.Linnett, A.Winterstein, J.Thurston, M.Morgan; Goals: J.Thurston 3)