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Storm vs Eels
NRL, 17 August, 2018
|Fulltime - Storm 20, Eels 4|
|Referee: Gerard Sutton|
|Touch judges: Belinda Sleeman & Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski|
|Video Referee: Steve Chiddy|
Round 23 of the NRL sees the Melbourne Storm host the Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 7:55pm (AEST).
At the start of 2018, many expected these two teams to face off in at least the semi-finals, rather than just late in the regular season.
The Storm have performed as expected, sitting in third, however the Eels’ current 15th place on the ladder underlines their poor season.
Strangely enough though, Parra arguably come into this clash in better form.
The alarm bells may not be ringing in Melbourne as yet but back-to-back losses to the Rabbitohs and Sharks are no doubt causing headaches for Craig Bellamy.
In the only change to the Storm line up from last Sunday’s loss, Cheyse Blair comes onto the bench to replace the injured Ryan Hoffman, who unfortunately may have played his last game in the NRL.
After a 40-4 demolition of the Dragons last weekend, it was perhaps difficult to work out whether the Eels were that good or St George Illawarra was that bad.
Most of the media coverage centred on the Red V’s form slump but it is worth noting that Parramatta had 61 per cent of possession and their completion rate was 93 per cent. It was a high-quality performance.
Players like Jarryd Hayne have finally found form and the Storm won’t be taking them lightly.
In changes to the Eels team, Tim Mannah replaces Kane Evans in the front row, while Oregon Kaufusi will make his NRL debut off the bench in place of Will Smith.
This game is simply too important for the Storm to lose.
It will be reasonably tight but Melbourne will get home by 8 points.