Storm's Kevin Proctor makes a run:           NRL Rugby League, Round 18, NZ Warriors v Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart, Sunday 12th July 2015. Digital image by Shane Wenzlick, copyright nrlphotos.com

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors
Sunday March 20, 2pm (EDT)
Mt Smart Stadium

These two teams may be heading into Round 3 at opposite ends of the spectrum although recent meetings suggest the form line counts for very little in this game.
Melbourne maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 34-16 win over the Titans at AAMI Park.
The strong performance was an early indication of the side’s improved depth with debutant Curtis Scott coming into the centres while Cameron Munster shifted to fullback following the late withdrawal of Billy Slater.
In a show of faith in the youngsters, Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged 17-man team for the trip to New Zealand.
Storm look set to be greeted with an electric atmosphere at Mt Smart Stadium as the Warriors prepare for their first home game of 2016.
Andrew McFadden’s side is still looking to get on the board this season following back-to-back losses to Wests Tigers and Brisbane.
On paper they pose a significant threat with star off-season recruits Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke added to a team that is now lead by Storm favourite son Ryan Hoffman.

Key Matchups:

1. Cameron Munster v Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

This is likely to be a matchup NRL fans will come to enjoy for many years to come. Both rising stars in their early 20s, these two fullbacks are prone to the type of play that will leave their respective fan bases clinging to the edge of their seats for the full 80 minutes. RTS is the big-name recruit who has began to show his worth already, leading his new side with 405 metres in the opening two rounds. Munster will again be asked to pull on Storm’s No.1 jersey, a task he showed last week and in 2015 that he is more than capable of doing.

2. Blake Green v Shaun Johnson
They may both wear the No.6 for their respective sides yet their styles could not be more different. Johnson is not afraid to show off his fancy footwork and has a turn of speed that can catch the opposing line napping. Green on the other hand is clinical in his approach and is making a name for himself as a Mr. Reliable in Craig Bellamy’s side. Two players and two different styles makes for one interesting matchup.
 

History: Played 36; Warriors 16, Storm 18, drawn 2. These teams split the ledger in both games last year although the Warriors hold the recent advantage, winning three of the past four.
 

What we’ve said:

“You always get a tough game over there doesn’t matter what and that will be the case this week for us” – Craig Bellamy

“I think it has been a little bit unfair the criticism… the Warriors) were very competitive until they got a couple of injuries against the Broncos” – Craig Bellamy

“It is always good to have young kids come through (into the side) and it helps make me feel younger as well” – Will Chambers
 

What they’ve said:

“We’re certainly very optimistic, we’re feeling very good inside and I think everyone is looking forward to being at Mt Smart Stadium for the first time” – Andrew McFadden.

“If we can blow through their middle and be smart with our options out wide we can catch them” - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
 

Match Officials: Referee – Henry Perenara; Assistant – Dave Munro; Touch Judges – Jason Walsh & Anthony Eliott; Review Officials – Ben Galea & Matt Cecchin; Senior Review Official – Luke Patten.

Broadcast: TV – Fox Sports 1, Radio - ABC, Online – NRL Digital Pass.

Squads:

Melbourne Storm

New Zealand Warriors

1. Cameron Munster

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

2. Young Tonumaipea

2. Tuimoala Lolohea 

3. William Chambers

3. Blake Ayshford

4. Curtis Scott

4. Solomone Kata

5. Marika Koroibete 

5. Manu Vatuvei

6. Blake Green

6. Shaun Johnson

7. Cooper Cronk

7. Jeff Robson

8. Jesse Bromwich

8. Jacob Lillyman

9. Cameron Smith ©

9. Isaac Luke

10. Jordan McLean

10. Ben Matulino

11. Kevin Proctor

11. Bodene Thompson

12. Tohu Harris

12. Ryan Hoffman (c)

13. Dale Finucane

13. Simon Mannering

 

 

Bench

Bench

14. Kenny Bromwich 

14. Nathaniel Roache

15. Tim Glasby

15. Charlie Gubb

16. Felise Kaufusi 

16. James Gavet

17. Ben Hampton

17. Albert Vete

 

18. John Palavi

 

21. Jonathan Wright

 

23. Konrad Hurrell