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The Melbourne Storm will head into the second NRL semi-final just a little bit on the frustrated end of the scale as they get set to face a red-hot Parramatta Eels outfit at home. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:50pm (AEST).
The Storm come into this game when they would have much preferred to be spending a week cooling their heels and watching the semi-final action unfold, rather than participating in it.
Despite a record-breaking season for the minor premiers, where they had just four losses and a monstrous for and against, Melbourne found a way to fall to the Canberra Raiders last weekend, and as such, had to back up for this game.
It also throws them to the other side of the draw, meaning even if they do win here, they will have to take on the Sydney Roosters in the preliminary final.
But the Storm aren’t just a guaranteed deal to pass through this match, given the clunkiness of their attack last weekend against Canberra.
One side who weren’t clunky in attack was Parramatta, who ran up a record-breaking 58-0 pasting on the Brisbane Broncos to waltz through their elimination final.
Following their final-round victory over the Manly Sea Eagles, the Eels are on fire, and if they let their attack sing on Saturday evening, then they are a very real chance of knocking over the Storm.
Still, their defence will need to be strong, and their record away from home will have to improve, and for a young side under the pump in finals, that’s easier said than done.
They also need to reverse plenty of history to win, with the Eels losing all five of their finals games against the Storm to date.
The Storm are at home again and coming off a loss. They aren’t going to go out the back door in straight sets, and should do things fairly comfortably against the men in blue and gold this evening.
Storm by 14.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this NRL semi-final from 7:50pm (AEST) and don’t forget to get involved by adding a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
TV: Live, Fox League 502, Channel 9
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Storm $1.35, Eels $2.85
Overall record: Played 35, Storm 22, Eels 13
Last meeting: 2019, Round 9, Storm 64 defeat Eels 10 at AAMI Park, Melbourne
Last five: Storm 4, Eels 1
Record in finals: Played 5, Storm 5, Eels 0
Record at venue: Played 7, Storm 5, Eels 2
Referees: Ben Cummins, Grant Atkins
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Suliasi Vunivalu, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Brandon Smith, 15. Tui Kamikamica, 16. Max King, 17. Joe Stimson, 18. Curtis Scott, 19.Tino Faasuamaleaui, 20. Tom Eisenhuth, 21. Brodie Croft
1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Kane Evans, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Manu Ma’u, 13. Nathan Brown
Bench: 14. Brad Takairangi, 15. Daniel Alvaro, 16. Tepai Moeroa, 17. Marata Niukore, 18. Ray Stone, 19. Jaeman Salmon, 20. Peni Terepo, 21. Josh Hoffman