Melbourne Storm will look to continue their impressive start to the season when they host Canterbury Bulldogs in the grand final rematch. Join us for live scores and commentary from 8.00pm AEDT.
It’s only round two but Melbourne has already provided firm indications that it will yet again be the team to beat this season after an outstanding performance against the North Queensland Cowboys away from home.
The Storm were clinical last week en route to a 32-10 victory against a Cowboys side that ranks as a severe premiership contender this year.
Melbourne now faces a Bulldogs outfit that was forced to grind its way to a 20-16 victory against the Parramatta Eels last week.
Canterbury was forced to do the majority of defending against the Eels, but managed to hold on for their first win of the season.
Despite denying Parramatta with good defence, the Storm are an infinitely better attacking unit and may just put an under strength Canterbury to the sword tonight.
Bulldogs stars Sam Kasiano, Ben Barba, Frank Pritchard and James Graham remain sidelined and their presence will be sorely missed tonight by Canterbury.
Full strength opposition struggle to beat Melbourne at the best of times, so it’s very difficult to see how the Bulldogs will match the Storm’s firepower with all that class still sitting on the sidelines.
The Canterbury forward pack is going to have to play very well. Tony Williams in particular must stand up and make his presence felt after two flat performances for the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs halves Kris Keating and Josh Reynolds are also going to have to produce something special in attack if they are to open up a Storm defence that is known for absorbing a lot of pressure.
Melbourne’s halves on the other hand are by far the most clinical attacking pair in the NRL, with Cooper Cronk and Gareth Widdop now seemingly opening up teams at will.
Cronk is playing superb football at the moment, scoring two tries last week while having a hand in three others in the victory against the Cowboys.
If Melbourne’s forwards continue to do their job upfront tonight, the Storm quartet of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cronk and Widdop should once again prove too much to handle for the Bulldogs.
Storm by 12.