Scouting Report: The Bulldogs
Canterbury will arrive in Melbourne with a 3-2 record this season and desperate to make amends for their upset loss to the Raiders at Belmore last Monday night.
There is no hiding Storm owe the Bulldogs. Five straight defeats at the hands of Des Hasler’s men is not ideal so we thought we would cast our eye over the visitors and take a look at what to expect ahead of their trip to AAM Park.
Match the Physicality
In recent years Storm have been unable to go toe-to-toe with the Bulldogs big forward pack. The physicality of Des Hasler’s side has gotten the better of Melbourne who have been unable to match them in this area. Matching the Bulldogs in the physical game is a big priority for Storm heading into Monday night and is a must if the Club is to return to winning ways against Canterbury,
Simpler Game Plan
Ball control has been a priority for the Bulldogs this season, resulting in a simpler game plan than last year. In each of their three wins this year Canterbury have averaged a completion rate of 84% and have committed the equal third-fewest errors in the NRL. Controlling possession allows their forward pack to go to work up the middle of the ground. Storm’s completion rate has slipped below 80% in the past fortnight, something that will need to be corrected to match the Bulldogs at AAMI Park.
Moses Mbye has been outstanding for Canterbury in the early part of the season. He leads his side in line breaks, line break assists and try assists. The 22-year-old also has three tries to his name. His turn of speed and creativity is a real threat to the Storm line as Mbye looks to play off the back of his pack at every opportunity. Keeping the Bulldogs X-factor quiet will be pivotal for Craig Bellamy’s men.