Round 5 - Match Preview
Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors
Monday 6 April, 5pm
TV: Fox Sports, LIVE from 5pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: ABC Grandstand
Melbourne will host the Warriors in an Easter Monday blockbuster from 5pm looking to return to the winner's list in Round 5.
Both sides are coming off losses in Round 4 after Storm fell to the Cowboys by one-point in an extra time thriller while the Warriors failed to account for the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium.
Craig Bellamy has named the same 19-man squad he did in the lead up to Melbourne's trip to Townsville with duo Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Hymel Hunt earning places on an extended bench after solid performances for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup.
The Warriors have also named an extended squad for their trip to Melbourne for the Easter Monday blockbuster. Andrew McFadden has called in Ngani Laumape and Sebastine Ikahihifo for their first appearances of the season with Sione Lousi making up an extended interchange.
Ironically former Storm premiership player and Club life member Ryan Hoffman will play his 250th game while lining up against his old club for the first time. Hoffman has made a strong start to life as a Warrior scoring three tries in the opening four rounds of 2015.
The Auckland based Warriors hold a good record in recent times playing against Storm, particularly in Melbourne. At AAMI Park the Warriors have won three matches from five visits to the venue and along with Canberra are the only side in the competition to boast a positive record over Storm at their home.
The two sides will once again play for the Michael Moore Trophy, named in honour of Storm's inaugral football manager. The Warriors currently hold the Michael Moore Trophy after a 16-10 victory on ANZAC Day in 2014.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Young Tonumaipea, 3. Will 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
New Zealand Warriors: 1. Tuimoala Lolohea, 2. Jonathan Wright, 3. Ngani Laumape, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Chad Townsend, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Jacob Lillyman, 9. Thomas Leuluai, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Bodene Thompson, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Simon Mannering (c), 14. Nathan Friend, 15. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 16. Sam Lisone, 17. Albert Vete, 18. Sione Lousi
Referees – Adam Devcich, Gavin Reynolds
Sideline Officials – Clayton Sharpe, Michael Wise
Video Referees – Steve Chiddy, Luke Phillips
HEAD TO HEAD:
at AAMI Park
LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 8, 2014 – Melbourne Storm 10 (Tries: K.Proctor, Y.Tonumaipea; Goals: C.Smith 1) defeated by New Zealand Warriors 16 (Tries: D.Fusitua, S.Johnson, F.Mateo; Goals: S.Johnson 2) at AAMI Park.
In what always shapes as a close contest, Storm will host the Warriors on Monday 6 April, kicking-off at the family friendly time of 5pm at AAMI Park.
With a strong crowd expected, the Club encourages fans to purchase their ticket prior to game day and get to AAMI Park early in order avoid the qeues at the box office and gates. View the Round 5 Game Day information for all public transport and parking details.