Scout Report: Finals Week 3 teams wrap
The team changes and NRL Fantasy talking points heading into this week's Telstra Premiership Preliminary Finals.
Storm: No team changes for the Storm. Melbourne have beaten Brisbane twice this year, first 14-12 in a thriller at home in Round 3 then 42-12 in a thrashing at Suncorp Stadium in Round 17. Cameron Smith posted big scores in both games, making 69 and 74, and while the rest of the Storm side was kept reasonably quiet in the first encounter the attacking stars cashed in the second time around with Billy Slater (52, including a try), Curtis Scott (83, two tries) and Cameron Munster (52) all impressing.
Broncos: Darius Boyd is back, as is Tevita Pangai Jnr, with Kodi Nikorima moving to halfback, Benji Marshall to the bench and David Mead and Jai Arrow out of the 17. The Broncos' standout Fantasy performer against Melbourne this season has been tackle machine Andrew McCullough, now sidelined with injury, although his replacement Ben Hunt also scored well with 61 and 57 at halfback in those matches. Anthony Milford scored just seven points in 80 minutes in Brisbane's other trip to Melbourne while the in-form Alex Glenn is the only back-rower to have scored over 50 in this fixture so far this season.
Roosters: Daniel Tupou returns to the starting side on the wing, with Ryan Matterson moving back to the interchange, while Zane Tetevano replaces Kane Evans on the bench. Latrell Mitchell and Luke Keary both made 50s (including tries) against the Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Round 21, while Isaac Liu made a season-high 59 in 47 minutes. But the star of that match was bench forward Sio Siua Taukeiaho, who scored a try and ran for a huge 214 metres from 20 carries in a 74-point performance that led the Roosters to victory.
Cowboys: No changes, although co-captain and one-time Fantasy century-maker Matt Scott is an outside chance of a surprise return after being included on the extended bench. Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo continue to be brilliant contributors for the Cowboys and Morgan excelled in a losing effort against the Roosters in July, scoring a team-high 62. Goal-kicking second-rower Ethan Lowe outscored Taumalolo that day with 58 points and he remains a wildcard option if you believe the Roosters pack can contain Taumalolo.