Warriors Simon Mannering runs into the tackle from Storm's Blake Green and Storm's Cameron Smith:           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

Scouting Report: The Warriors

Storm will take on the Warriors in what will be the New Zealand side's first home game of the season at Mount Smart Stadium.

The Warriors have not won a game in the NRL since July last year however Storm fans will take little comfort from that given it did come against their side at this very venue.

Andrew McFadden's team will be going all out to get their first win of the season after back-to-back defeats against Wests Tigers and the Broncos.

There were still plenty of promising signs for the Warriors in each of those defeats and should they manage to put together an 80 minute performance on Sunday they will present a big challenge for the travelling men in purple.

Sense of the Unknown
There is an element of the unknown about the Warriors at this early stage of the season. They are a squad that has undergone some significant change in personnel and on paper they appear stronger for it. Prized recruits Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Isaac Luke are both game-breakers and will complement the unique playmaking ability of five-eighth Shaun Johnson. Having two new players fitting into key positions could explain why New Zealand have come up short so far this season but it is only a matter of time before they will click for a full 80 minutes.

Danger up the middle
The Warriors have beaten Storm in three of their last four meetings. Their secret to success has been a direct style of play that sees them attack straight up the middle before pushing the ball quickly out wide. Tuivasa-Sheck alluded in his press conference during the week that the home side will again look to gain the advantage in this area. However with another pre-season under Melbourne's emerging forward pack, Craig Bellamy's men appear better equipped and ready to cope with the threat this time around.

Hometown Warriors
New Zealand will not be short of motivation to win come Sunday. It may be the need to overturn their winless start but also the chance to play in front of their home fans for the first time this season. Storm have not won across the ditch since 2012 and will need to deal with a raucous atmosphere at Mount Smart Stadium to return home with the two points.