Competition - NRL
Round - 14
Teams – Roosters V Storm
Date – 11th of June 2016
Venue – Allianz Stadium
Photographer – Robb Cox

Round 17 - NRL Preview

Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
Friday July 1, 7.50pm
Suncorp Stadium

Storm enter the primetime on Friday night to face the Broncos in a game that could have a big say in the make up of the top four.

A Melbourne win would see them move four games clear of the Broncos but the home side have the chance to cut that gap to just four points.

Storm have not lost at Suncorp Stadium since Round 2, 2009 and have won the last six games at the venue including a one-point thriller against the Cowboys back in Round 10 of this season.

Storm maintained their two game buffer inside the competition's top two with a 29-20 win over Wests Tigers on Sunday.

They did suffer another injury blow with emerging prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona ruled out for the next eight weeks after tearing his Posterior Cruciate Ligament.

The fifth-placed Broncos have endured a testing Origin period that has seen them lose four of their last five games, although two of those defeats have been by a just one point.

There is no doubt Wayne Bennett's side will be looking to bounce back after being handed their biggest loss of the season last week in a 40-12 loss to the Bulldogs.

The Broncos look set to welcome back Alex Glenn as well as hooker Andrew McCullough into the line up.

Be at AAMI Park when we take on the Roosters, Saturday 23 July, 7:30pm.

Key Matchups:

Cooper Cronk v Ben Hunt
The current Queensland halfback will go up against the man who many consider will take is place in a few years time. Hunt has 17 for try assists for the season, three more than any other player and also has 11 line break assists and 15 offloads. Cronk has scored as many tries as he has set up this season. He has crossed the line on nine occasions and put his teammates over just as much.  Both playmakers will steer their respective ships on Friday night with plenty of highlights sure to follow.

Dale Finucane v Corey Parker
An old school match up against two working class footballers who thrive at the coalface of the contest. The highlights will not be obvious from these two but their impact will be as great as any. Finucance ranks 10th in the NRL for tackles, averaging just over 36 per game. He will go up against the Broncos captain who is the talisman of his side and the man his teammates turn to in those tough moments.

History: Played 38: Storm 25, Broncos 12, Drawn 1 – Melbourne have won nine of the last 10 meetings against Brisbane.
 

What we’ve said:

“Our players enjoy playing in a stadium like that and we usually get a fair bit of support there to be quite honest. There are obviously more Broncos there but there is usually plenty of purple as well" - Craig Bellamy

“It is a tough ask up there, the Broncos probably haven’t been going so well the last couple of weeks… but we just know the quality of players in that team" - Craig Bellamy

What they’ve said:

"'(Andrew McCullough) brings that stability in the middle. He's a rock in defence and a very good decision maker" - Josh McGuire

Match Officials: Referee - Ben Cummins; Assistant - Matt Noyen; Touch Judges - Michael Wise & Chris Butler; Review Officials - Luke Patten & Steve Chiddy; Senior Review Official - Bernard Sutton.

Broadcast: TV – GEM & Fox Sports 1, Radio - ABC Grandstand, Triple M & 2GB, Online – NRL Digital Pass.

Squads:

Melbourne Storm

Brisbane Broncos

1. Young Tonumaipea

1. Darius Boyd

2. Suliasi Vunivalu

2. Corey Oates

3. Cheyse Blair

3. Kodi Nikorima

4. Ryan Morgan

4. James Roberts

5. Marika Koriobete

5. Lachlan Maranta

6. Tohu Harris

6. Anthony Milford

7. Cooper Cronk

7. Ben Hunt

8. Jesse Bromwich

8. Josh McGuire

9. Cam Smith ©

9. Andrew McCullough

10. Jordan McLean

10. Adam Blair

11. Kevin Proctor

11. Alex Glenn

12. Kenny Bromwich

12. Matt Gillett

13. Dale Finucane

13. Corey Parker ©

 

 

Bench

Bench

14. Felise Kaufusi

14. Jarrod Wallace

15. Christian Welch

15. Tevita Pangai Jnr

16. Matt White

16. Jaydn Su’A

17. Ben Hampton

17. Travis Waddell

18. Curtis Scott

 

23. Slade Griffin