Melbourne Storm vs Canberra Raiders: NRL live scores, blog
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Melbourne Vs. Canberra
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 8 July, 2012
|AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC|
|Canberra 40 defeated Melbourne 12|
|Referee: Gerard Sutton|
|Touch judges: Ricky McFarlane & Grant Atkins|
The top-of-the-table Melbourne Storm will be looking to consolidate their bid for the minor premiership when they take on a struggling Canberra Raiders outfit at AAMI Park. Join us for live scores and commentary from 5.30pm AEST.
With Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Dane Nielsen all expected to back up from Origin, it’s almost a full-strength Storm line-up – save, of course, for the notable absence of Billy Slater.
Even without the enigmatic Slater, however, Melbourne are at short odds to dispose of the Raiders at home.
Indeed, the Storm possess an astonishing record against Canberra, having won 18 of their last 20 clashes – although the Raiders did manage to spring a 20-12 upset the last time they faced off at AAMI Park, back in 2011.
For their part, Canberra have won two of their last three games, but they were far from convincing in either. They’ve struggled to find a consistent combination in the halves due to multiple injuries, and their completion rates are among the lowest in the NRL.
That being said, they managed an impressive 88 per cent completion against the Dragons last Monday, and it was on the back of that effort that fullback Reece Robinson was able to exert some individual brilliance to win that contest.
Certainly, it’s hard to imagine the Raiders defeating the Storm if their completion is anywhere below 75-80 per cent — after all, the Storm are not the kind of side that requires an invitation to post points.
Expect tradesmanlike performances from Cronk and Smith who, after an intense Origin III, will be looking to control this contest with a strong kicking game on the back of the go-forward from the fresh Storm pack.
If the Raiders are to spring an upset, the young halves combination of Williams and McCrone will need to click in a way that hasn’t yet occurred for the Raiders this season. A little bit of individual brilliance from the likes of Robinson and Blake Ferguson wouldn’t go astray, either.
Will the Storm dispose of the Raiders at home and find themselves one step closer to the minor premiership, or will the Raiders pull off a shock win as they did at AAMI Park in 2011? Join us from 5.30pm AEST for live score updates and debate on our live blog, and be sure to give us your opinion in the space below if you’re watching.
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