Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans
Saturday, May 13, 5.30pm
TV: Fox League (Ch. 502) LIVE from 5.30pm
Radio: ABC Grandstand & 2GB
Head-to-Head: Storm 11, Titans 5
Last time we met: Round 9, 2016; Storm 38 def Titans 0 at CBUS Super Stadium
The Hayne effect
After spending five weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Jarryd Hayne’s return to the field has had an instant impact on the Titan’s performance. His comeback game saw him line up at fullback and help Gold Coast defeat reigning premiers Cronulla on their own paddock. Last week Hayne shifted to the centres with damaging effect, producing two line breaks and two tries in a runaway 38-8 win over the Knights. Hayne has been selected to line up at centre against Storm and will be one to keep an eye on given his ability to change the course of a game with a single possession.
Two for one footy!
Two high quality games of footy for the price of one is pretty hard to beat. The NRL Double Header has grown into a must-see event on the rugby league calendar. Storm kick off the blockbuster against the Titans at 5.30pm before the Sea Eagles and Broncos lock horns from 7.30pm. Last year’s event was a sell out and almost 40,000 tickets have already been sold for Saturday night so do not miss out!
Forward pack personnel
Melbourne have been forced to make three changes to their forward pack for this weekend. Young props Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Christian Welch both miss through injury while Jesse Bromwich will be serving the first of his two-week suspension. Tim Glasby is the man who has been promoted to the starting prop rotation with forwards Mark Nicholls, Dean Britt, Tohu Harris and Tui Kamikamica all in with a chance of an NRL return.
Storm’s sunny Suncorp record
Suncorp Stadium has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Craig Bellamy’s men over the years. Melbourne have won 11 of their previous 12 games at the venue, including their last seven in a row. They have also won their past four games against the Titans, meaning history well and truly sits with the Melbourne boys this weekend.
Titans can attack
Gold Coast may sit in 12th spot on the NRL ladder but their attack shows they are much better than that. Neil Henry’s side have scored the fourth most points in the competition, averaging 23.3 points per game. What has held them back so far has been the fact they have leaked the second most points, at just over 25 points per game. Last week though against the Knights they showed signs of putting it all together, producing their highest score of the season (38) while conceding their lowest (8).