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The Storm had their work cut out for them against Wests Tigers in round one while the Rabbitohs were stung by an improved Broncos outfit.

Melbourne's stunning round one record looked in danger as they coped with the absences of Cam Munster and Harry Grant plus injuries to Brandon Smith, George Jennings and Christian Welch, but their class eventually shone through.

The Rabbitohs were lucklustre in their opening loss of the season but it's hardly panic stations given the absence of Latrell Mitchell and game-eve injury to his stand-in Blake Taaffe. 

Expect each side to be better this week as the Storm hunt a 2-0 start to the year and the Bunnies look to open their 2022 account.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Storm v Rabbitohs

The Rundown

Team news

Storm: The Storm are 1-17 with no late changes.

Brandon Smith (broken hand) is out for five weeks while Christian Welch (Achilles) and George Jennings (knee) are set to miss the remainder of the season. Cameron Munster and Harry Grant come into the side after serving suspensions. Dean Ieremia replaces Jennings on the wing while Jesse Bromwich is back at prop following his COVID-19 quarantine last week.

The bench remains the same following the side’s win over Wests Tigers.

Chris Lewis is 18th man and Nick Meaney was the last man cut an hour before kick-off.

Rabbitohs:  A late switch an hour before kick-off with Siliva Havili promoted to the starting side and Cameron Murray going to the bench. Davvy Moale has come into the side on the bench and Michael Chee Kam drops to 18th man.

Latrell Mitchell returns from suspension, moving Alex Johnston back to the wing and Josh Mansour drops out.

Blake Taaffe (ankle) remains sidelined with Alex Johnston shifting back to his preferred wing spot and Josh Mansour dropping out.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Jaxson Paulo
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane Milne
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Lachlan Ilias

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Tevita Tatola
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Mark Nicholls
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 15 Siliva Havili

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonald
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 14 Jacob Host
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Thomas Burgess
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai Moeroa
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Davvy Moale

Reserves

  • Replacement for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis
    Replacement for Rabbitohs is number 17 Michael Chee Kam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Cameron Munster v Cody Walker: Munster looked fit, fresh and dangerous in the trials and should be doubly so here after serving a one-game ban in round one. Walker looked frustrated at times with none of his accustomed left-edge threats alongside him but should benefit greatly from the return of Mitchell. 

Stat attack

Both of these sides were on the wrong end of possession in round one, with the Bunnies holding 48% of the ball against Brisbane and the Storm just 45% against the Tigers - but it was the Storm who were far better able to counter this disadvantage by making what ball they had count. 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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