Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos: NRL live scores, blog
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Melbourne Vs. Brisbane
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 25 May, 2012
|AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC|
|Melbourne 34 defeated Brisbane 10|
|Referee: T Archer|
|Touch judges: R Turner & Adam Reid|
The Brisbane Broncos have made the bold move of resting three State of Origin stars, but will the Melbourne Storm be able to take advantage at home? Join us for live scores and commentary from 7:30pm AEDT.
For the first time in season 2012, Melbourne come into a match on the back of a defeat and will be keen to get back to winning ways against a weakened Broncos outfit.
The Storm suffered a 12-10 loss to Cronulla two weeks ago with key trio Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith kept relatively quite against the Sharks.
The preceding trio however will be full of confidence tonight given that they played key roles in Queensland’s victory over New South Wales on Wednesday night.
Brisbane meanwhile have decided to rest Origin players Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges and Petero Civoniceva.
Fellow Origin stars Ben Hannant and Matt Gillett will back up for Brisbane tonight, but their presence may not be enough to stop Melbourne from attaining another victory at their AAMI Park fortress.
The withdrawal of Broncos players Thaiday, Hodges and Civoniceva has taken the spice out of what would have been a tremendous contest between two of the NRL’s best teams.
Brisbane are currently sitting second on the NRL ladder but have lost their past two matches against the Warriors and Sea Eagles respectively.
By resting key players, the Broncos have left themselves exposed somewhat against a Melbourne side that will be at full strength.
With Thaiday and Civoniceva out, forwards Ben Te’o, Josh McGuire, Alex Glenn, Scott Anderson and Corey Parker will have to defend strongly up the middle in order to keep Cameron Smith from dictating play for Melbourne.
The absence of Hodges out wide also robs Brisbane of arguably their best attacking player. Gillett will play out in the centres, but he faces a tough ask containing in form Storm centre Dane Nielson.
With the Broncos minus a few representative players, the result of this match could be decided during the opening twenty minutes.
Melbourne have made a habit of scoring points early at home and will look to put the Broncos to the sword during the opening half hour.
If the Storm do score early, Slater, Cronk, Smith and Gareth Widdop will hit their groove and Brisbane could be in for a long night.
The longer this match stays close however; the Broncos will build in confidence and will fancy their chances of perhaps attaining their best win of the season.
With so much class on the sidelines however, Brisbane may just lack the composure and skill to stick with Melbourne for the full eighty minutes.
Storm by 10