Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys highlights: NRL live scores, blog, highlights

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    Storm vs Cowboys

    NRL, 17 June, 2017

    AAMI Park
    Fulltime - Storm 23, Cowboys 22
    Storm   Cowboys
    23 FINAL SCORE 22
    4 TRIES 3
    Referee: Ben Cummins
    Touch judges: Tim Roby & Jason Walsh
    Video Referee: Luke Patten

    The ladder-leading Melbourne Storm host the seventh placed North Queensland Cowboys in Round 15 at AAMI Park. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 4pm (AEST).

    Both teams are missing several stars who are in State of Origin camp with Queensland preparing for Game 2 next Wednesday night. Why the NRL would have scheduled a potential blockbuster clash like this one in the middle of the Origin period is a mystery, but here we are.

    The Storm have the ‘big 3’ of captain Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater on Origin duty, as well as Will Chambers and Tim Glasby. Prop Jordan McLean and centre Cheyse Blair are also out with injury.

    Smith’s place has been taken by Slade Griffin, while Ryley Jacks has been named to replace Cronk and Young Tonumaipea will play fullback in Slater’s absence.

    The versatile Tohu Harris will play in the centres for the Storm along with Curtis Scott, filling in for Chambers and Blair. 21-year-old Brandon Smith has been named on a new look and inexperienced bench, along with Mark Nicholls, Joe Stimson and Dean Britt.

    The Cowboys have captain Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess away with the Maroons. Ray Thompson has taken Thurston’s spot at the scrum base. He’ll be partnered by 21-year-old Kyle Laybutt at five-eighth, who has been promoted from the Townsville Blackhawks in the Queensland Cup to make his NRL debut.

    Regular North Queensland centre Kane Linnett will start in the back row in place of Cooper. Javid Bowen takes Linnett’s spot in the centres, with Corey Jensen taking Hess’ spot on the interchange bench.

    The match will be a chance for some of the fringe players at both clubs to shine.

    Storm by 4.

    Join The Roar at 5:30pm AEST for live score updates and our blog.