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The Melbourne Storm continue their push towards the top of the ladder when they take on a Wests Tigers outfit desperate to prove themselves a genuine title threat. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 7:50pm (AEST).
Come fulltime on Thursday night, Tigers fans may be left wondering if Ryan Papenhuzyen was the one that got away.
This was already a feeling many had at Concord when the Balmain junior departed for the Storm at the end of 2017. But for those who didn’t, the 20-year old made his presence known last week against Parramatta with a blistering display at fullback.
A short-term injury to regular number one Jahrome Hughes gifts Papenhuyzen with another chance to impress while Marion Seve also comes in for Curtis Scott, who will likely miss the rest of the year with a foot injury.
After belting Parramatta 64-10, the challenge for Craig Bellamy’s men will be to try replicate the same intensity on Thursday night.
They were issued a challenge to deliver from Bellamy a fortnight ago. They did that and more in the 54-point win.
Now they need to build on that victory.
They won’t have it all their way though against a rejuvenated Tigers side. Wests took full advantage of a poor Penrith outfit, running in five tries in the opening 17 minutes of the game.
They welcome Josh Aloiai this week, with debutant Oliver Clark dropping off the interchange.
Having been humbled by the Roosters 42-12 two weeks ago, the focus will be on proving themselves against a genuine contender, even if it comes in the form of a close defeat.
If Melbourne play to their potential they won’t give Wests a sniff.
Storm by 12.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 7:50pm (AEST).
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
Venue: AAMI Park
TV: Live, Channel Nine, Fox League
Online: 9Now, Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now
Betting: Storm $1.21, Tigers $4.30
Referee: Adam Gee, Gavin Badger
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Marion Seve 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Tui Kamikamica 21. Sandor Earl 18. Billy Walters 19. Joe Stimson
1. Moses Mbye 2. Mahe Fonua 3. Robert Jennings 4. Esan Marsters 5. Corey Thompson 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Ben Matulino 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Chris McQueen 13. Matt Eisenhuth 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Michael Chee-Kam 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Elijah Taylor