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The Sharks and Storm have built up quite the rivalry in recent years and there's plenty to play for when they open round 17 on Thursday night.

Melbourne sit second but have slipped six points tearaway leaders Penrith while the Sharks are nestled in fourth as they head into a gruelling month of footy with matches against the Storm, Cowboys, Panthers and Rabbitohs.

The first task at hand for Craig Fitzgibbon's men is to take care of business against a Storm outfit desperate to hit back after an uncharacteristically sloppy loss to Manly but needing to do it without Origin stars Cameron Munster and Harry Grant, as well as Felise Kaufusi who is on family leave in the USA.

One of the Storm's great strengths under Craig Bellamy has been to rebound after a loss and to get the job done regardless of who pulls on the jumper but they face a stiff test on the Sharks' home patch in front of a parochial crowd.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Sharks v Storm

The Rundown

Team news

Sharks: There are no further late changes after Nicho Hynes and Toby Rudolf were ruled out after returning positive COVID tests. Braydon Trindall comes into the side at halfback and Andrew Fifita at prop. The new man on the bench is Braden Hamlin-Uele, who makes his return from a pectoral injury that has sidelined him since round six.

Storm: The visitors remain 1-17 with no late changes. Dean Ieremia comes in on the wing and Nick Meaney moves to five-eighth with Jayden Nikorima dropping to 18th Man. Brandon Smith will start at hooker with Harry Grant on Maroons Origin duty, Josh King is the new lock and Nelson Asofa-Solomona will start at prop with Tui Kamikamica going to the bench. Tyran Wishart and Jordan Grant are new faces on the bench alongside Alec MacDonald and Kamikamica. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
  • Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
  • Centre for Sharks is number 4 Connor Tracey
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Grant Anderson
  • Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Nick Meaney
  • Halfback for Sharks is number 18 Braydon Trindall
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes


  • Prop for Sharks is number 10 Royce Hunt
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Sharks is number 17 Andrew Fifita
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Chris Lewis
  • 2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Sharks is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King


  • Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Aiden Tolman
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Cameron McInnes
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Teig Wilton
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Sharks is number 21 Braden Hamlin-Uele
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Jordan Grant


  • Replacement for Sharks is number 19 Jesse Colquhoun
    Replacement for Storm is number 21 Jayden Nikorima

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Peter Gough
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Key match-up

Nicho Hynes v Jahrome Hughes: Hynes was a pivotal figure in the Sharks getting across the line against the Bulldogs on a waterlogged CommBank Stadium, using his kicking game to great effect to control the tempo. With 17 forced dropouts, nine try assists and 16 line break assists to his name in 15 matches, Hynes is making a powerful case for the tag of buy of the year. Crafty Kiwi Hughes will be all too aware of Hynes' abillty to break a game open having played alongside him at the Storm so he'll be on high alert on Thursday. The Melbourne No.7 is one of the game's great competitors and last week's loss to Manly won't have sat well with him. Look for the 27-year-old to bounce back in style in a crucial game for the Storm.

Stat Attack

Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo leads the NRL in line breaks with 22 from 13 games. Fellow winger Sione Katoa has 15 in 14 games, giving Cronulla strike on both sides of the park. Cameron Munster leads the Storm with 11 line breaks but in his absence it will be up to Ryan Papenhuyzen (10 in 10 games) and Justin Olam (10 in 15 games) to bust the line and set up four-pointers.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.