NZ Warriors vs Melbourne Storm: NRL live scores and blog
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Warriors Vs. Melbourne
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 3 June, 2012
|Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland|
|Melbourne 22 defeated Warriors 12|
|Referee: M Cecchin|
|Touch judges: P Holland & Adam Gee|
The New Zealand Warriors take on the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday 3 June. Join us for live scores and commentary from 2:00pm AEST.
The Storm have only lost one game all season and have gapped the rest on the competition ladder.
The Warriors however have troubled Craig Bellamy’s men in the past and they’ll be looking to turn them over again.
The vagaries of the modern day NRL draw means these two teams met less than 40 days ago. The Storm ran out 32-14 winners on ANZAC Day, but the game was tighter than that as Melbourne crossed for three late tries to blow it apart. Whippet fullback Kevin Locke also left the field early and Krisnan Inu (since moved to the Bulldogs) made a few crucial errors filling in at the back.
Still, the Warriors go into the clash with some confidence. They have won four out of five games at Mt Smart this season and have beaten the Storm in three of their last five encounters, including last year’s Preliminary Final played in Melbourne. The 16-day rest since their last game is ostensibly a positive as well, though it can also be a hindrance.
The Warriors have announced an unchanged 17 for this clash, with Joe Ropati and Nathan Friend still absent with long-term injuries. There is mail around that Locke may be a late inclusion for the Warriors.
Like the Warriors, Melbourne have named an unchanged 17 from the team that dispatched the under-strength Broncos last round. The Storm squad has injury concerns too, with Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor and Brian Norrie all unavailable for selection this week. With Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and skipper Cameron Smith all fit, rested and available however, they still present a formidable challenge.
Journeyman forward Michael Greenfield, named on the Storm bench, is in doubt with a neck injury. Ryan Hinchciffe has been named to play in the second row to accommodate Smith back at starting hooker with Rory Kostjasyn moving back to the pine.
The key to today’s game, as ever, will be whether the Warriors turn up with the right attitude in defence. It’s a simple equation. If they turn up, they stand a good chance of stifling the space for Cronk and Smith to work their wizardry. If they do not turn up, Slater and his outside backs will cash in.
Each time the Storm have taken the field this season, they have averaged 30 points and conceded an average of less than two converted tries. A daunting record.
Prediction: Storm by 4
Can the Warriors continue their impressive record against the Storm after an extended layoff or will the Storm be allowed to play their clinical style to secure their eleventh win in twelve?
Find out from 2:00pm AEST as we cover the action with live scores and commentary. If you’re watching or following along, feel free to leave a comment in the space below.