A look at both teams and what to expect ahead of Saturday’s game.
Storm stars set to return?
Tuesday’s team announcement would have made for some happy reading for Storm fans. Despite the team’s early-season success, it appears the injury cloud that lingered throughout last season has not disappeared in 2017. However as they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Munster and Cheyse Blair have all been named in Craig Bellamy’s extended 21-man squad. Bromwich and Blair were late withdrawals against the Sharks as a result of minor back injuries. Munster has missed the last three games with a broken jaw but could be set to line up alongside mentor Billy Slater for just the second time in his career!
A rivalry continued
It goes without saying that these two teams have a coloured history against one another. Be it the Battle of Brookvale, grand finals, preliminary finals or any other occasion, you can count on fireworks when the Storm and Sea Eagles lock horns. Melbourne left Brookvale with a 38-18 win last year but before that, their previous four meetings had been decided by no more than two point margins. We could see another thriller this weekend.
A tale of two teams
The Sea Eagles boast the fourth best attack in the competition, averaging more than 20 points per game. They have already shown their ability to put points on an opposition at will, having posted scores of 30+ already this season. However they will come up against the best defence in the NRL. This Storm team is averaging just under 10 points per game in 2017. Which game plan will win out on Saturday? Only time will tell.
All eyes on T.T
Tom Trbojevic has run for more metres than any other player in the NRL so far this season. The Manly fullback has averaged 195 metres every time he has stepped on the field in 2017, providing his side with tremendous potency in attack. He is also a tough man to lock down, generating 21 tackle busts to his name. Should Storm find themselves pinned on their own line, it will be Trbojevic who will be the likely threat to appear.
Halve to watch
Seven try assists for the season sees Daly Cherry-Evans ranked second in the NRL. Five of those assists came in a single game against the Bulldogs in Round 4. The Sea Eagles skipper is the kind of player that can turn it on in a heartbeat. He is partnered by the ever-reliable Blake Green, a man Storm players and fans know too well for his two stellar seasons here from 2015-16. Saturday’s game will also mark Green’s 100th in the NRL. This Manly attack is dangerous for a reason, and both Cherry-Evans and Green are a big part of that.