Warriors v Storm: Origin stars bolster Melbourne, Lino in for Green

Every time the Warriors look like they might be slipping, they silence their critics by bouncing back with a committed effort like they one they produced against the Broncos.

Their comprehensive 26-6 win boosted their record to 11-6 - the same as the Roosters, Panthers and Sharks. On Sunday they host the reigning premiers and will be aiming to atone for a 50-10 thrashing from the Storm in round eight.

A spare parts Melbourne had to dig deep to scrape home against Manly last week and Craig Bellamy will be glad he doesn't have to see the Sea Eagles again this year. The Storm should have Billy Slater and Cameron Munster back on deck after they were rested last week.

Key match-up: Cameron Munster is expected to return, giving the Storm an edge over Warriors youngster Mason Lino, who comes in for Blake Green. But Jahrome Hughes is the man who will have to bring his A-game against Warriors maestro Shaun Johnson. If Hughes handles the occasion then the Storm can win well.

For the Warriors to win: Considering his team's ordinary form at home (4-4) and head-turning away record (7-2), coach Stephen Kearney should book the Warriors into an Auckland hotel for the night to try and create that feeling of being together on the road. Seriously, they should give it a try. 

For the Storm to win: The return of Munster and Slater will provide a massive boost, giving the Storm considerably more options in attack than they had against Manly last week. If they tame the Warriors big men and get inside the heads of Johnson and Green, the Storm will have too much firepower out wide.

Warriors Stat Attack: David Fusitu'a is ranked second amongst try-scorers in the Telstra Premiership this season with 15, one behind South Sydney's Robert Jennings, and he has a great record against Melbourne in particular with six tries in six games against the Storm.

Storm Stat Attack: Not only do the Warriors have a poor home record but the Storm also have a great away record recently, winning their past five on the road.

And another thing: The Warriors will like their chances if the game is tied late, with Shaun Johnson leading the NRL in field goals (4). The New Zealanders also lead the competition in offloads (223), while it might come as a surprise that the normally polished Storm have committed the most handling errors (83).

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Billy Slater
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Gerard Beale
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Will Chambers
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Solomone Kata
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Curtis Scott
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 18 Mason Lino
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Storm is number 18 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 James Gavet
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Issac Luke
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Agnatius Paasi
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Simon Mannering
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Ryan Hoffman
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Adam Blair
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Kenneath Bromwich

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tim Glasby
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Tevita Satae
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Christian Welch
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Joseph Vuna
    Interchange for Storm is number 19 Joe Stimson
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 21 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Storm is number 20 Dale Finucane

Warriors: Mason Lino is in for Blake Green (rib injury), while Bunty Afoa has been promoted from the reserves to the bench at the expense of Karl Lawton. Anthony Gelling was cut an hour prior to kick-off.

Storm: Billy Slater and Cam Munster are back, while Jahrome Hughes will play halfback in jersey No.18, with Brodie Croft dropping out. Dale Finucane returns on the bench after recovering from a broken thumb. Cheyse Blair and Brandon Smith were omitted an hour before kick-off.

Head-to-head: Played 41; Storm 23 wins, Warriors 16 wins, 2 draws
Previous result: Storm won 50-10 at AAMI Park in round 8
Points per game: Warriors 19.6; Storm 23.5
Points conceded per game: Warriors 19.1; Storm 15.6
Televised: Live on Fox League

Petero Civoniceva's prediction: These two sides have a great rivalry and both are coming off wins. In fact, the Storm have won five on the trot and they are looking ominous, even if Manly did push them to the limit. Melbourne are a very clinical outfit and they travel well so playing in New Zealand won't phase them. The Warriors were impressive in Brisbane but I favour the Storm in a quality clash.

Tip: Storm by 8

Match: Warriors v Storm

Round 19 -

Full Time
Warriors

Home Team

Warriors

Scored 6 points
Storm

Away Team

Storm

Scored 12 points

Venue: Mt Smart Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Fox League
  • LIVE PASS

Using the app? Click on the match centre above and swipe right to view up-to-date team lists