The incredible Storm machine just keeps rolling on with another huge win over the Warriors in round 14 while the Wests Tigers' bid for a third straight victory came crashing down at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.
The Storm lost Christian Welch to an Origin HIA from a forward pack already missing the likes of Kenny Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona and lost Jesse Bromwich mid-game but didn't miss a beat in racking up their ninth 40-plus score of the year against the Warriors in Gosford on Sunday.
The Tigers were riding high after downing the Dragons and Origin-ravaged Panthers in successive weeks but were stopped in their tracks by an Eels side that has more than had their measure in recent years, denying them a chance for three straight wins for the first time under Michael Maguire.
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The Storm's win pushes them above Penrith into first place on the Telstra Premiership ladder for the first time this year.
Match: Storm v Wests Tigers
Round 15 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Storm: In the one late positional change for the Storm, Tui Kamikamica will start at prop with Christian Welch to come off the interchange bench.
Dean Ieremia will be the 18th man.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona replaces Jesse Bromwich, who has an elbow injury and has not been named with Tui Kamikamica moving back to the interchange.
Reserves Cooper Johns and Trent Loeiro were left out 24 hours before the match.
George Jennings returns on the wing after missing last week with an injury. ·
Melbourne have won seven from seven at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Wests Tigers: Michael Maguire's side will start 1-17 with Michael Chee Kam the 18th man.
Moses Mbye has overcome a knee injury and will play.
Winger Ken Maumalo will make his debut for the Wests Tigers in the same week he joined the club.
Incredibly, Maumalo will clash against the Storm for the third time this season and second time in as many weeks. He has scored hat-tricks in both games against the Storm in 2021.
As a result, James Roberts moves into the centres with Adam Doueihi (head knock) not named after copping a high tackle from Eels winger Maika Sivo on Sunday.
Reserves Kelma Tuilagi and Jake Simpkin were omitted 24 hours before kick-off.
Match: Storm v Wests Tigers
Round 15 -
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicholas HynesFullback for Wests Tigers is number 1 Daine Laurie
Winger for Storm is number 2 George JenningsWinger for Wests Tigers is number 2 David Nofoaluma
Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Wests Tigers is number 3 Tommy Talau
Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin OlamCentre for Wests Tigers is number 4 James Roberts
Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-CarrWinger for Wests Tigers is number 5 Ken Maumalo
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Wests Tigers is number 6 Moses Mbye
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Wests Tigers is number 7 Luke Brooks
Prop for Storm is number 8 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaProp for Wests Tigers is number 8 James Tamou
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon SmithHooker for Wests Tigers is number 9 Jacob Liddle
Prop for Storm is number 15 Tui KamikamicaProp for Wests Tigers is number 10 Alex Twal
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 11 Luke Garner
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Tom Eisenhuth2nd Row for Wests Tigers is number 12 Luciano Leilua
Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale FinucaneLock for Wests Tigers is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Storm is number 10 Christian WelchInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 14 Stefano Utoikamanu
Interchange for Storm is number 14 Harry GrantInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 15 Shawn Blore
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Chris LewisInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 16 Tom Amone
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Aaron PeneInterchange for Wests Tigers is number 17 Alex Seyfarth
Reserve for Storm is number 21 Dean IeremiaReserve for Wests Tigers is number 18 Michael Chee Kam
- Referee: Gerard Sutton
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Nick Morel
- Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen
Jahrome Hughes v Luke Brooks: In two teams that have been fairly disrupted this year, their two wily No.7s have been ever-present.
Hughes' progression as a playmaker in the past two or three years almost defies belief while Brooks's form has improved sharply since he was being heavily criticised earlier in the year.
Among halfbacks, only Panthers co-captain and Blues star Nathan Cleary (1259 metres at 114 per game) competes with the two No.7s on show in this clash when it comes to running the ball this year. Hughes (1340m at 103 per game) and Brooks (1170 at 90) are first and third on this list.
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