Storm 2018 draw announced

Melbourne Storm is set to make AAMI Park the home of the blockbuster next season following the release of the 2018 Telstra NRL Premiership Draw.

Six of the seven fellow top eight sides from last season will make the trip south with a mixture of Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sunday afternoon timeslots providing something for all Storm members, fans and families.

“We are pleased with the quality of games that will feature right here in Melbourne for the 2018 season,” Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said.

“Our home fixture kicks off in a big way with two games in the space of five days, beginning with Wests Tigers in Round 2 before we take on the Cowboys, our Grand Final opponents from this year, in a Thursday night showdown.

“Our members and fans will be treated to a mixture of days and times that will hopefully cater to everyone’s interests and result in yet another year of record crowds at AAMI Park.”

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Highlights of the 2018 Draw:

  • 11 home games at AAMI Park starting in Round 2 on a Saturday night against Wests Tigers
  • 10 prime-time timeslots; eight Friday nights, two Thursday games
  • Grand Final re-match at home against the Cowboys in a Round 3 Thursday night blockbuster
  • Traditional ANZAC Day clash against the Warriors in Round 8
  • School holiday home games; Round 6 v Knights (Friday at 6pm) and Round 17 v Dragons (Thursday at 7.50pm)
  • 11 games free-to-air on Channel Nine
  • Three Double Header fixtures in Rounds 1, 5 and 10

Melbourne will have eleven games broadcast on Channel Nine, including five of the team’s 12 away games to be shown on the free-to-air network which will allow every Storm fan to cheer on Craig Bellamy and the boys while they are on the road.

“It is fantastic that we will have nearly half of our games, including away fixtures, showcased prime time and free-to-air on the Nine Network in 2018 with Fox Sports also providing a simulcast across all 26 rounds,” Donaghy said.

“We welcome the opportunity to work even closer with Nine given that today’s announcement provided both parties with a great platform to grow the game of rugby league in the Melbourne market as well as showcasing the unique match day experience that comes with attending a Storm home game at AAMI Park.

“There is a lot to look forward to next season and the Club will be striving to ensure that 2018 will be a year as fondly remembered as the one we just experienced.”

Storm will begin their premiership defence in Round 1 against the Bulldogs at the brand new Perth Stadium in what is set to be Billy Slater’s 300th NRL game. The Club will be celebrating Slater’s milestone, subject to fitness, with a series of tributes during the opening home game in Melbourne the following week.

That Round 1 game against the Bulldogs will be the first of three Double Headers the Club will feature in during the first 10 weeks.

In a great result for families, home games against the Knights on a Friday night (Round 6) and the Dragons on a Thursday night (Round 17) will both be played during school holidays.

Rivals Brisbane and Cronulla will visit AAMI Park for Sunday afternoon blockbusters with that Broncos game to take place during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

There will be a ninth installment of the ANZAC Day blockbuster against the Warriors. As this will be a ticketed game, general admission members will again be given priority access to book a seat as this fixture that traditionally draws a massive crowd at AAMI Park.

Storm will play nine teams twice throughout the season, four of whom played finals in 2017; Broncos, Cowboys, Dragons, Knights, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Tigers, Titans and Warriors.

In an additional highlight, Melbourne will play out the business end of the season in front of the purple army with three of their final four games at home.

The Club will have its one and only bye week in Round 13 while a stand alone Origin game will be held on Sunday, June 24 between Rounds 15 and 16.
 

2018 MELBOURNE STORM FIXTURE

Rd

Home/Away

Opposition

Date (AET)

Venue

1

Away

Bulldogs

Saturday 10 March, 9pm

Perth Stadium

2

Home

Tigers

Saturday 17 March, 7.30pm

AAMI Park

3

Home

Cowboys

Thursday 22 March, 7.50pm

AAMI Park

4

Away

Sharks

Friday 30 March, 7.50pm

South Cross

5

Away

Tigers

Saturday 7 April, 3pm

Mt Smart

6

Home *

Knights

Friday 13 April, 6pm

AAMI Park

7

Away

Broncos

Friday 20 April, 7.50pm

Suncorp

8

Home

Warriors

Wednesday 25 April, 7pm

AAMI Park

9

Away

Dragons

Sunday 6 May, 2pm

Jubilee Oval

10

Home

Titans

Saturday 12 May, 5.30pm

Suncorp

11

Home

Sea Eagles

Saturday 19 May, 7.30pm

AAMI Park

12

Away

Cowboys

Friday 25 May, 7.50pm

1300 Smile

13

-

-

BYE

-

14

Home *

Broncos

Sunday 10 June, 4.10pm

AAMI Park

15

Away

Knights

Sunday 17 June, 2pm

McDonald Jo

16

Away

Roosters

Friday 29 June, 7.50pm

Allianz

17

Home *

Dragons

Thursday 5 July, 7.50pm

AAMI Park

18

Away

Sea Eagles

Saturday 14 July, 5.30pm

Lottoland

19

Away

Warriors

Sunday 22 July, 2pm

Mt Smart

20

Home

Raiders

Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm

AAMI Park

21

Away

Rabbitohs

Friday 3 August, 7.50pm

ANZ

22

Home

Sharks

Sunday 12 August, 4.10pm

AAMI Park

23

Home

Eels

Friday 17 August, 7.50pm

AAMI Park

24

Away

Titans

Saturday 25 August, 5.30pm

CBUS

25

Home

Panthers

Friday 31 August, 7.50pm

AAMI Park

* Denotes School and Public holiday weekends