Round 6 Preview: Storm v Knights

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Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights

AAMI Park

April 13th 2018

6:00pm AEST 8:00pm NZST

Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Young Tonumaipea, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona,  11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Kenny Bromwich,

Interchange: 14 Joe Stimson, 15 Tim Glasby, 16 Christian Welch, 17 Sam Kasiano

Reserves: 18 Brandon Smith, 19 Patrick Kaufusi, 20 Brodie Croft, 21 Justin Olam

Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 3 Sione Mata'utia, 4 Nathan Ross, 5 Ken Sio, 6 Brock Lamb, 7 Mitchell Pearce (c), 8 Daniel Saifit, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Herman Ese'ese

Interchange: 14 Danny Levi, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jamie Buhrer (c), 17 Jacob Saifiti

Reserves: 18 Luke Yates, 19 Josh King, 20 Jack Cogger, 21 Cory Denniss

Friday night football starts with the Newcastle Knights travelling south to take on the defemding Premiers, the Melbourne Storm.

Melbourne are facing the worst start in the club's history since 2001 with another loss on Friday, on the other hand the last time the Knights won 4 from their first 6 games they ended up making the preliminary finals.

Key match ups:

Slater vs Ponga: talk about out with the old in with the new, just as one of the all time greats enters what is believed his final year in the NRL  another potential great is lighting the world on fire. 



There is a good chance which ever fullback on the night plays the better will earn his side the victory.

Jacks vs Pearce: this will be Jacks second game of the year after staring at 5/8 in Melbourne's round one victory, but now with the 7 on his back he will have a much tougher job at hand controlling a side who by Melbourne standards are struggling.

On the other side of the park, Mitchell Pearce's move to the Knights looks like a blessing in disguise. He sits atop the Dally M leader board along side team mate Ponga and is playing that well, that even though he has that dreadful SOO record, he is definitely putting his hand up as the NSW 7 again this season. 

Addo-Carr and Vunivalu vs the Knights: so much of Melbourne's attack is off the back of the hard yards made by these two from kick returns. But ability of sides limiting the impact from these 2 on kick returns is only half the battle.

As it stands right now Addo-Carr hasn't scored a try since around 1 which was a double, whilst Vunivalu scored 1 in both round 1 and 2. Last season these 2 scored 42 tries between them (round 1-26) with Vunivalu taking out the most tries in the competition with 23 in 23 matches. So it comes as no surprise that with the pair not crossing the white strip as consistently the Storm are struggling. The Knights need to continue the pairs try scoring drought, because if the flood gates open, it could have a tsunami effect.

Prediction:
It won't be an easy victory, but I just can't see the Storm losing 2 in a row just yet. The Storm to get home by 2 tries and for Addo-Carr to bag himself another double.


Boom

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