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A mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash awaits at AAMI Park on Saturday night as the third-placed Storm host the second-placed Sharks with the chance for one side to move to a 5-1 start to the season.

Expects Cronulla's ex-Storm stars Dale Finucane and Nicho Hynes to be well and truly up for this one against their former teammates, with each enjoying terrific starts to the year in terms of their personal and team form. 

The Storm have won their past two matches by a combined 74-16 since their golden point loss to the Eels in round three.

Meanwhile the Sharks, since a last-gasp loss to the Raiders in round one followed by stealing a late win against the Eels in round two, haven't looked like losing since. 

Sportsbet Betting preview: Storm v Sharks

The Rundown

Team news

Storm: Jesse Bromwich and brother Kenny are both out of the side after testing positive to COVID. Brandon Smith and Trent Loiero have been added to the starting side with Chris Lewis and Alec MacDonald joining the bench. Tyran Wishart returns on the bench for his third NRL game. Jordan Grant is 18th man.

Sharks: No late changes on game day after Sione Katoa (knee) and Briton Nikora (COVID) dropped out on Friday. Mawene Hiroti comes in on the wing and Cameron McInnes moves from the bench to the second row. Braydon Trindall has been added to the bench. Veteran Aiden Tolman returns on the bench after missing last week's game due to COVID. He replaces Royce Hunt who is 18th man.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Nick Meaney
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Sharks is number 19 Mawene Hiroti
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Braden Hamlin-Uele
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 15 Cameron McInnes
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Dale Finucane

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tyran Wishart
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Aiden Tolman
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai Moeroa
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Andrew Fifita
  • Interchange for Storm is number 19 Alec MacDonald
    Interchange for Sharks is number 18 Braydon Trindall

Reserves

  • Replacement for Storm is number 21 Jordan Grant
    Replacement for Sharks is number 21 Royce Hunt

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Nick Morel
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jahrome Hughes v Nicho Hynes: remarkably, all four starting halves in this match began their careers as fullbacks. It's a more natural transition from the No.1 to the No.6 but the excellence produced by Hughes over the past few years and by Hynes in just five games as a halfback, is remarkable. He's arguably the form player of the NRL and a huge reason the Sharks share equal-second spot on the ladder with the Storm and Eels but Hughes has been impressive himself this year and the duel between the two is arguably the most important one on the field in terms of deciding the result. 

Stat attack

Hynes's ball-playing has been top-notch so far this year, with the halfback chalking up a league-high seven line break assists in his five games. Remarkably, his centre Jesse Ramien is equal-second on the list with five. 

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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