Trial preview: Storm v Bulldogs
Melbourne Storm v Canterbury Bulldogs
Saturday 20 February, 5.30pm
Belmore Sports Ground
Storm will travel to Belmore Sports Ground for their final trial of the 2016 pre-season in what is being treated as a full dress rehearsal with Round 1 just two weeks away.
The Club has named a near-full strength squad to take on the Bulldogs with skipper Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk named for their first hit-out of the year.
The Bulldogs have also named a strong side featuring captain James Graham, Josh Morris and newly re-signed youngster Moses Mbye.
Billy Slater and Cameron Munster will both sit out Saturday’s game but continue to improve ahead of Round 1.
Storm showed plenty of promise in last weekend’s hit-out against Wests Tigers on the Sunshine Coast, with a young team just being piped at the post 16-18.
Youngsters Richie Kennar and Curtis Scott have retained their starting spots for this week in a side that boasts plenty of first-grade experience.
Tickets for the 2016 season also went on sale this week with Storm fans able to secure their seats at AAMI Park by clicking here.
What we’ve said:
“The team that will start the game on Saturday night will be very close to the team that will start against the Dragons” – Frank Ponissi
“There are a number of outside backs positions that are still up for grabs and definitely the bench is right up for grabs” – Frank Ponissi
“It was expected to take this long, I am still hopeful of being there in Round 1, I expect to be there” - Billy Slater
What they’ve said:
“I know guys like James (Graham), Josh (Reynolds), Josh (Morris) and David (Klemmer) are keen to get out there and play with the group for the first time this season” – Des Hasler
“I can’t wait to get out there with the boys…I missed the first half of the pre-season after having a cleanout. Getting the contact, the wrestle and my rehab into my shoulder has made it coming along well” – David Klemmer
Match Officials: Referee – Grant Atkins; Assistant – Alan Shortall; Touch Judges – Nick Beashel, Russell Turner.
1. Young Tonumaipea, 2. Curtis Scott, 3. Richie Kennar, 4. Will Chambers, 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
Bench: 14. Ben Hampton, 15. Tim Glasby, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Francis Tualau, 18. Matt White, 19. Kenny Bromwich, 20. Felise Kaufusi, 21. Jeremy Hawkins, 22. Tony Tumusa, 28. Matt Grieve (Sunshine Coast Falcons)
1. Brad Abbey, 2. Curtis Rona, 3. Josh Morris, 4. Chase Stanley, 5. Sam Perrett, 6. Josh Reynolds, 7. Moses Mbye, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Michael Lichaa, 10. James Graham (c), 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Tony Williams, 13. Greg Eastwood, 14. Sam Kasiano, 15. David Klemmer
Bench: 16. Danny Fualalo, 19. Kerrod Holland, 17. Pat O’Hanlon, 20. Craig Garvey, 21. Shaun Lane, 22. Matt Frawley, 23. Adam Elliott, 26. Tyrone Phillips