Melbourne will head across the country this Sunday as they look to bounce back against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Perth.
We look at all the key numbers and big news heading into the clash.
Nelson a chance
A broken hand against the Dragons saw Nelson Asofa-Solomona miss last week’s NRL Double Header. However the young Kiwi prop could be in line for an early return after being named in Storm’s extended 21-man squad. Prior to his injury Asofa-Solomona was in great form, having won the Spirit of ANZAC Medal against the Warriors. He would be a huge boost, figuratively and literally, to a Storm pack looking to hit back this weekend.
The Rabbitohs are the only team to not win a home game this season. Therefore their decision to move this week’s game from Redfern to Perth may not be such a bad idea. South Sydney have won four of their six games on the road this season. They also got the points when the last time they played in Perth against Storm, back in 2010.
Cody the provider
No player has provided more try assists in 2017 than Cody Walker. The former Storm player has 11 to his name, including the two he produced in last week’s dominant 28-8 win over Wests Tigers. A crafty ball player with good foot speed, the 27-year-old is in career-best form. Stop him and Storm will go a long way to taking the points in Perth.
How will the purple wall respond?
To see the number ‘38’ next to the opposition’s score on Saturday night was unchartered waters for Craig Bellamy’s side. After all this was a team that conceded an average of less than 10 points during its opening six games. Melbourne is a team known for defence and Saturday night’s result would have cut deep. Now the purple wall is looking to bounce back in a big way.
Stopping big Sam
Sam Burgess had a monster game against Wests Tigers last week. The Englishman ran for 226 metres and scored two tries in 69 minutes of playing time. When Burgess is up and about that usually means the Bunnies are as well. He is the barometer for Michael McGuire’s men and will be a big test for Storm’s pack.