Competition - NRL Premiership
Round - Round 05
Teams – Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
Date –    2nd of April 2016
Venue – AAMI Park, Melbourne VIC
Photographer – Brett Crockford
Description –

Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights

Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
Sunday July 17, 2.00pm
Hunter Stadium

Storm will venture to Hunter Stadium this Sunday, a place where they have won just two of their last five games.
A win for Craig Bellamy’s side will see them maintain their three game buffer inside the competition’s top two with seven games to play.
They face a Knights team currently in 16th place but Newcastle were in a very similar position when they came to AAMI Park and upset Storm 20-6 in Round 24 last year.
That result means there will be no chance of complacency from the men in purple.
Both sides had the chance to freshen up after last weekend’s bye meaning that, outside of their respective Origin reps, the players should be cherry ripe for this one.
Matt White has been named to make his Storm debut after coming into the side for the injured Jordan McLean (knee).
The Knights have received a big boost with playmaker Jarrod Mullen set to return after being sidelined with a hamstring injury since Round 8.

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

Key Matchups:

Cooper Cronk v Trent Hodkinson
The battle of these two No.7s by both boot and hand will be one to watch. Hodkinson is his side’s primary playmaker, leading the way with seven try assists. The return of Mullen into the halves will also lessen the Knight’s reliance on their star recruit. Cronk on the other hand has been in stellar form for both Club and state. His last outing in a purple jersey resulted in five try assists against the Broncos to move his season tally to 14. Both halfbacks will be especially important if the game is close entering the home stretch, watch for them both to take the reigns and showcase their game management skills.

Young Tonumaipea v Dane Gagai
Both outside back utilities will provide plenty of highlights on Sunday. Gagai has 62 tackle busts for the season, 15 more than any other Knight and has been in impressive form throughout this year’s State of Origin series. Tonumaipea this week signed a new two-year deal to remain in Melbourne and has certainly been impressive at fullback where he has played the last three games following an injury to Cameron Munster.
 

History: Played 35; Storm 20, Knights 15 – Melbourne won seven straight games over Newcastle between 2010-13 but since then honours have been even, with the ledger split at 2-2.
 

What we’ve said:

“I havn’t been to any other Club but the culture here is just awesome and to stay here with the calibre of players we have and to learn more was another reason why” – Young Tonumaipea

“We have coped a few injuries in the forwards there but it gives guys like myself time to play more minutes. The guys who are coming in are doing a good job and the guys who are out are recovering well so I’m happy to play more minutes” – Kenny Bromwich
 

What they’ve said:

"They are just a very disciplined side, and well coached…I am really excited to go out and play such a high quality side and test my game against theirs" – Josh King

“He has been cleared by the specialist and has passed anything he has had to do and has completed the last two team sessions so he will have a full week of training” – Nathan Brown

“That game against Canberra, we set the bar for ourselves and we are hoping to keep that as an average game for us” - Pete Mata’utia
 

Match Officials: Referee - Henry Perenara; Assistant - Gavin Reynolds; Touch Judges - Russell Turner & Rickey MacFarlane; Review Officials - Byran Norrie & Jason Robinson; Senior Review Official - Luke Patten.
 

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

Squads:

Melbourne Storm

Newcastle Knights

1. Young Tonumaipea

1. Dane Gagai

2. Suliasi Vunivalu

2. Nathan Ross

3. Cheyse Blair

3. Brendan Elliot

4. Ryan Morgan

4. Peter Mata’utia

5. Marika Koriobete

5. Jake Mamo

6. Blake Green

6. Jarrod Mullen

7. Cooper Cronk

7. Trent Hodgkinson

8. Jesse Bromwich

8. Robbie Rochow

9. Cameron Smith ©

9. Daniel Levi

10.  Felise Kaufusi

10. Korbin Sims

11.  Kevin Proctor

11. Sione Mata’utia

12.  Tohu Harris

12. Mitch Barnett

13.  Dale Finucane

13. Jeremy Smith

 

 

Interchange

Interchange

14. Kenny Bromwich

14. Josh King

15. Christian Welch

15. Sam Mataora

16. Matt White

16. Daniel Saifiti

17. Ben Hampton

17. Mickey Pea

 

18. Pat Mata’utia

 

23. Pauli Pauli