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Warriors Storm Chasers


Warriors Storm Chasers

Warriors Storm Chasers



Warriors v Melbourne Storm

When: ANZAC Day

Where:  AAMI Park, Melbourne.

Watch it: LIVE. SKY Sport 2 from 8.30pm.

There are not too many tougher assignments in the NRL than a match in Melbourne against the Storm.

However over the years the Warriors have pulled off some famous victories in the Victorian capital. They’ve actually won three of seven previous clashes at AAMI Park. Last year though wasn’t one of them as the Storm marched to a 42-0 triumph.

Overall the record from 39 meetings head to head reads 21 wins to the Storm, 16 wins to the Warriors and two draws.

I thought the Warriors performance was okay last week against the Raiders but they certainly paid the price for a number of handling errors inside their own half. I doubt whether too many sides will restrict the Raiders to just three tries in matches at their home this year, so to hold Canberra to 20 was admirable.

In the end though, the Warriors didn’t give their own attack a chance completing only 24 sets as opposed to the Raiders 35. A similar stats gap against Melbourne will only lead to defeat.

So better control of the football, and better control of field position are the start points for any possible Warriors success in this one.

The Sharks were able to grind out a win against Melbourne just two weeks ago and one of the ingredients in that performance was the job Cronulla’s Wade Graham did in defence on Cooper Cronk. Coach Kearney will know his side will have to come up with a similar feature in the game plan.

There are enough attacking threats in the Warriors side to have the Storm concerned, but it’s going to take a lift on anything the team has done so far this year and that includes from their wins over the Knights, Titans and Eels.

Often, Warriors/Storm games can produce something special. Let’s hope it’s the same story here next Tuesday night on SKY Sport. I promise it’ll be worth staying up for.

The hot tip:

I have a feeling the Warriors best work in this match might be at the start. That’s easier said than done given Melbourne piled on four tries in the opening 20 minutes against Manly.

But going on with that hunch, I’m tipping former Storm forward Ryan Hoffman (pictured) to nab the opening try for the second consecutive week.

Kiwi watch:

There is no Thursday night football again this week, with the round kicking off on SKY Sport on Friday night in Canberra.

I’ll be calling the Raiders clash with Manly and it’ll be another chance to watch Kiwi test winger Jordan Rapana. With seven tries next to his name in 2017, Jordan missed out against the Warriors, so look for him to get his name on the score sheet once or twice against the Sea Eagles.

In the late game on Friday night, Kodi Nikorima will again play halfback for the Broncos in their battle with Souths. Kodi did well last week against the Titans filling in for the injured Ben Hunt and came up with a crucial try in the second half.

Super Saturday on SKY Sport will start with the Eels tackling the Panthers. For Penrith, I reckon Dallin Watene Zelezniak is playing career best football. He’s in my Kiwi test side for May 5.

The Cowboys will welcome back Antonio Winterstein from injury when they host the Knights.

While the Sharks will be hot favourites against the Titans. Konrad Hurrell is a chance to return from an ankle injury for the Gold Coast.

On Sunday on SKY SPORT, the Tigers will take on the Bulldogs in the only league show in town.

And then it’s the big double on Anzac Day on Tuesday with the Roosters/Dragons match the entrée to the Warriors against the Storm.

From the vault:

Can the Warriors repeat what they achieved in their Anzac Day match against the Storm from six years ago?

What a night it was at AAMI Park, as the Warriors ran out winners 18-14, ending a nine game winning streak at home for their opponents.

As a point of interest, there are only three Warriors from that game still at the club; Simon Mannering, Jacob Lillyman and Ben Matulino.

My tips for Round 8:

Raiders, Broncos, Eels, Cowboys, Sharks, Tigers, Roosters, Storm.

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

Photo: Photosport

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