Two proud clubs well-placed in the top eight and with plenty of history lock horns at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon after both recorded lacklustre performances in Round 14 coming off a bye.
The Storm conceded an uncharacteristic 45 points to the Cowboys in Townsville to continue their inconsistent season while the Sharks were beaten by a classy Broncos outfit on home turf.
Both sides have shared a period of dominance against each other since the 2016 grand final with Cronulla winning five of their next eight before Melbourne returned serve, winning five of the last six between the two clubs.
It shapes as a big game for Nicho Hynes, who will line up against his former club at AAMI Park for the second time but more importantly, with the hamstring injury to Nathan Cleary, he could be playing for a starting spot in Origin II.
Sportsbet Betting Preview - Storm v Sharks
Storm: Marion Seve starts at centre as replacement for Justin Olam (concussion), with Grant Anderson dropping out after initially being named to play there. Tom Eisenhuth and Tyran Wishart join the bench in favour of Bronson Garlick and Aaron Pene.
Sharks: Cronulla will take the field with the same 17 named mid-week, but with one slight positional switch that sees Braden Hamlin-Uele start at prop and Oregon Kaufusi reverting to the bench. Cameron McInnes returns from a hand injury on the interchange.
Match: Storm v Sharks
Round 15 -
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick MeaneyFullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
Winger for Storm is number 2 Will WarbrickWinger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis SmithCentre for Sharks is number 3 Jesse Ramien
Centre for Storm is number 19 Marion SeveCentre for Sharks is number 4 Siosifa Talakai
Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier CoatesWinger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Sharks is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
Prop for Storm is number 8 Tui KamikamicaProp for Sharks is number 10 Royce Hunt
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry GrantHooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian WelchProp for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Teig Wilton
Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh KingLock for Sharks is number 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaInterchange for Sharks is number 8 Oregon Kaufusi
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tariq SimsInterchange for Sharks is number 14 Cameron McInnes
Interchange for Storm is number 21 Tyran WishartInterchange for Sharks is number 15 Wade Graham
Interchange for Storm is number 22 Tom EisenhuthInterchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
Replacement for Storm is number 20 Kane Bradley
Reserve for Sharks is number 21 Daniel Atkinson
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Senior Review Official: Chris Butler
- Nicho Hynes has engaged the line 107 times so far this season, second only to Nathan Cleary (126), the man he is line to replace in the Blues side for Origin II.
- Centre Siosifa Talakai leads the Sharks for try assists with 11, one more than chief playmaker Nicho Hynes with 10.
- The Storm have won five of their past six games against the Sharks.
- The Sharks have not won at AAMI Park since 2018.
- Storm winger Xavier Coates has scored 16 tries in 14 games at AAMI Park.
- Sharks fullback William Kennedy has scored 12 tries in his past 11 games.
- Storm fullback Nick Meaney will make his 100th NRL appearance
Match: Storm v Sharks
Round 15 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.