Trial Games 2020

Discussion on anything to do with Melbourne Storm - games, players, rumours - anything!
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blazza18
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Can tell Johns comes from a footballing family with the way he moves around the field. He's got time out there and doesn't look rushed at all.

Olam's got a chance to be very good. His growth since getting a full time gig has been a huge development for us and a big reason why we flicked who we flicked.

A few seasons ago I talked about how slow and awful Slade Griffin's service was from dummy half. Harry Grant is the complete opposite.
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 4:15 pm

Schonig and Bernstrom showed something from the bench.

Lee is above Seve (and Earl) in the centre pecking order IMO.
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sallymay
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:26 pm

*Very impressed by Brenko lee but he was always gonna be good as he has a lot of experience even if it was with a crap team
*Sandor played well I mean apart from the last minute when he dropped the ball he was solid
*Cooper was pretty good
*Harry the guy is too good reserves ...let him go storm or play him no way should he be playing in reserves again
*Tino damn it...he is gonna hurt us next year
*Albert best on ground for mine the fend the runs the passes ...good to see him back
*Chris...can we sign him to an nrl contract now please
*Max king strong first 20 then kinda disappeared a little but was until then
*Darryn some really good strong runs...took over from Max
*Dean was good again got hurt bloodied and kept running
*aaron a really good back up back up back up ha
Trent ...only 18 Bahahaha feel sorry for anyone playing the falcons when he plays he is MASSIVE
riders of the storm
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Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:41 pm

Not sure this is the right place for it but anyhow...

Brandon Smith basically just singlehandedly destroyed the Indigenous All Stars.

He had four line breaks, five tackle breaks, two tries and ran for 175 metres.

He’s an absolute monster.
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blazza18
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Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:01 am

Crazy that Brandon is too good of a ball runner for him to stay at hooker for us long term.
Itzbek the Purple
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Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:21 pm

I'm aware of this being very unlikely but I had raised the idea earlier of Brandon becoming the new Hinchy at second row and part time hooker and Harry G being the regular 9
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yourhero
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Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:00 pm

Sounds good in theory to have Harry at 9 and Cheese off the bench/in the back row... but Brandon wants the 9 and has been very patient and loyal whilst the GOAT finishes up. No other option will keep him at the club though. It really is as simple as that.

Brandon’s devastating running game from DH is something hopefully Storm fans will enjoy for the next decade.

As great a player as Harry is now and will continue to develop into, it isn’t really a choice that needs to be made. Keep Cheese at all costs.
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Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:12 pm

yourhero wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:00 pm
Sounds good in theory to have Harry at 9 and Cheese off the bench/in the back row... but Brandon wants the 9 and has been very patient and loyal whilst the GOAT finishes up. No other option will keep him at the club though. It really is as simple as that.

Brandon’s devastating running game from DH is something hopefully Storm fans will enjoy for the next decade.

As great a player as Harry is now and will continue to develop into, it isn’t really a choice that needs to be made. Keep Cheese at all costs.
Agree and disagree. Dummy half first and foremost needs to provide great service from dummy half and then to choose when to run at retiring and tiring defences. I agree in that I don't want to lose Brandon, he is a top fella as well, no nonsense, great person. I fear if he starts and continues his wrecking ball ways his career could be severely curtailed, coming off the bench, if he's willing of course - ala Danny Williams then we could have him (and rugby league) for considerably longer. It's his choice of course and part of that needs to be realistic as to how long he wishes to remain in the game. I want him till he retires. I haven't seen Harry Grant yet so have no opinion. Of course, somebody else needs to retire first...
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yourhero
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Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:25 pm

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https://www.melbournestorm.com.au/news/ ... n-preview/

Melbourne Storm 2020 season preview
Jonathan Healy
NRL.com reporter
Tue 25 Feb 2020

We have seen it before. The "experts" provide their predictions and most select the Storm to be the big sliders each year.

Then, 10 rounds into the season they are sitting pretty at the pointy end of the NRL ladder.

While last year's minor premiers may have lost some experience in the outside backs with the off-season departure of Will Chambers (rugby union) and Curtis Scott (Raiders), it's hardly time to panic for Craig Bellamy and his loyal band of assistants.

The Storm have a strong nucleus in their forward pack that includes Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Dale Finucane and Nelson Asofa-Solomona, while Cameron Munster, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Josh Addo-Carr have enough tricks in their bag to cause opposition defences to panic.

While it remains to be seen whether the Storm have the firepower to go all the way, they certainly won't be too far away come September.

The 2020 outlook

What's new
With the departure of Brodie Croft to the Broncos, a new halves partnership will steer the Storm around the park this year.

Versatile Kiwi Jahrome Hughes is the favourite to partner Munster in the halves, but returning No.7 Ryley Jacks and young gun Cooper Johns could be given the chance to impress throughout the season.

The arrival of Brenko Lee from the Titans also offers the Storm the chance to offset the loss of Chambers and Scott during the off-season.


The draw
Storm fans have to wait until the third round of the season to see their charges in action at AAMI Park, with trips to Lottoland and Netstrata Jubilee their most immediate tasks during the opening fortnight of the new season.

A trio of five-day turnarounds follows for the Storm during rounds 3-9, but a bye in the week prior to Origin I is likely to at least provide the Storm some relief when their stars are away on rep duty.

Three home games in the final five rounds of the season should provide the Storm the chance to cement a finals position if they are still chasing post-season action late in the year.


The stat that gives you hope
The Storm are an amazing 54-16 over the first seven rounds of the season during the last 10 years, so you can almost be guaranteed that last year's reigning premiers will make yet another fast start.

Reports are the pre-season that the Storm have just endured has been one of the hardest that Bellamy has ever put his players through, so expect the Storm to come out firing in the early rounds.


What you need to know NRL Fantasy wise
Ryan Papenhuyzen ($600k) exploded onto the scene last year and will be a cut-price Fantasy gun if he can pick up where he left off this season.

There's still no sign of any decline from Fantasy king Cameron Smith ($907k) while Marion Seve ($422k) and Brenko Lee ($375k) are both decent value if they can nab a spot in the centres.


The coach
Don't expect too much to be different for Craig Bellamy at the Storm in 2020, with the veteran mentor now entering his 18th season in charge in Melbourne.

The top job is his at the Storm for as long he wants it and the master coach has no plans of an early retirement just yet given he is yet to coach a losing season in the NRL.

Expect the same old Bellyache in 2020.


Contract matters
Many of the Storm's stars are locked up long-term with Cameron Munster (2023) and Ryan Papenhuyzen, Brandon Smith and Harry Grant (all 2022) going nowhere any time soon.

The concerns are wingers Josh Addo-Carr (family reasons) and Suliasi Vunivalu (rugby union), with the pair having already expressed the desire to move on at the end of the year. The evergreen Cameron Smith is also likely to retire sometime soon, but on current form he could keep playing for another five seasons.


The burning question
Storm fans demand success and last season's finals disappointment will be at the forefront of their minds heading into the new campaign.

Some will query whether the Storm have done enough to bring in some fresh talent during the off-season to go that one step further this year, but it would be foolish to doubt Bellamy given his impeccable record.


Breakout player to watch
Last season we saw Ryan Papenhuyzen emerge as one of the brightest full-backs in the competition and in 2020 we could see another one of the Storm's young guns come through.

Young halfback Cooper Johns has the right breeding to make it in first grade, with his father (Matthew) and uncle (Andrew) both NRL legends following stellar careers with the Knights.

If Johns gets the chance to partner Cameron Munster in the halves then don't expect him to let it slip. The Storm have big plans for the 20-year-old and they might start coming to fruition as soon as this year.


The quote
"To do what they did during the year was quite exceptional. There's two trophies up for grabs and I know there's one a whole heap bigger than the other one. But we'll console ourselves with the minor one [JJ Giltinan minor premiership shield]." - Storm coach Craig Bellamy
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yourhero
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Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:58 pm

yourhero wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:25 pm
The Storm are an amazing 54-16 over the first seven rounds of the season during the last 10 years
I found that interesting and wanted to compare it to our overall regular season win % (under Bellamy), so did a little research - then sliced and diced the numbers a few different ways...

From the article - 77% win record in the opening 7 rounds over the past 10 years

Other win % stats
70% win record overall over the past 10 years 2010-2019 (regular season)
74% win record overall over the past 5 years 2015-2019 (regular season)
78% win record overall over the past 4 years 2016-2019 (regular season)

67% win record overall during the years 2010-2014 (regular season)
67% win record overall during the years 2003-2009 (regular season)
69% win record overall during the years 2003-2019 (regular season)

Craig Bellamy's win % is 11% better in the past 4 years compared to the previous 14 years. Somehow, he continues to get better.
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yourhero
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:12 pm

Line-up named for the final trial game against the Cowboys.

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
2. Suliasi Vunivalu
3. Justin Olam
4. Marion Seve
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Cameron Munster
7. Jahrome Hughes
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Cameron Smith
10. Tui Kamikamica
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Kenny Bromwich
13. Dale Finucane

14. Harry Grant
15. Tino Fa'Asuamaleaui
16. Max King
17. Albert Vete

18. Tom Eisenhuth
19. Darryn Schonig
20. Nicho Hynes
21. Brenko Lee
22. Ryley Jacks
23. Cooper Johns
24. Chris Lewis
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yourhero
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:14 pm

Only three first-grade regulars will miss the match through injury - Brandon Smith (facial fracture), Christian Welch (knee rehab) and Nelson Asofa-Solomona (hamstring strain).
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yourhero
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 12:17 pm

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Grant ready to do the 'tough stuff' in Smith's absence
Jonathan Healy
NRL.com reporter
Tue 25 Feb 2020

Melbourne Storm youngster Harry Grant has declared himself ready to fill in for injured hooker Brandon Smith during the opening rounds of the season.

Smith is likely to be sidelined for between 4-6 weeks after he suffered a facial fracture during his man-of-the-match performance for the Maori All Stars on Saturday night, meaning Grant is in the mix to fill in and wear the No.14 jersey.

Grant's playing style differs markedly from Smith's renowned bullocking game but the 22-year-old says he is willing to perform that role if given the chance.

"If the 14 jersey is available with Brandon out for a few weeks I will chuck my hand up," Grant said on Tuesday.

"Brandon is more of a middle unit player with the role he plays, but I will put my hand up if Bellsa (Craig Bellamy) is looking for a smaller forward off the bench.

"I will tell him I can play the middle and do the tough stuff for him. I did it a little bit in the juniors, so I haven’t done it for a while, but I will give it a crack.

Grant has been the focus of much discussion during the pre-season, with his proposed loan deal to the Tigers for centre Paul Momirovski seemingly off after it looked like it was going to proceed earlier this month.

The on-again, off-again deal hasn't been lost on Grant's teammates, with many of his peers taking the opportunity to jokingly refer to him as 'Paul' at training and after he played a pivotal role in the Storm's 18-16 trial victory over the Warriors last weekend.

Grant said negotiations with the Tigers about the proposed loan deal are ongoing, but his focus has now turned to what he can provide the Storm this campaign.

"I have got to look after the Storm," Grant said.

"I don’t want to be selfish and leave when they are looking for a back-up hooker with Brandon out."

Grant is hoping to get some more time to impress his coaches when the Storm tackles the Cowboys in their second trial match at Casey Fields in Melbourne's south east on Saturday.

Bellamy is likely to name a team similar to what he will use for the opening round against the Sea Eagles next month, but Grant thinks he might get the chance to show his wares in his preferred hooker position.

"I will see how many minutes Cam Smith gets through," he said.

"With Brandon injured I am hoping I might get a bit of game time at No.9."
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sallymay
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:43 pm

Says the players who don’t play the trial will play in feeder clubs ISC trials ...I think only 20 are playing our trial as cowboys are only bringing 20 ...means 4 drop out and Easts tigers aren’t playing a third trial and falcons do have another trail so I guess Sandor and the dropped 4 will be falcons
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Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:34 pm

Just watching trial v Warriors now. As others have commented. The flick pass from Justin Olam was sublime. Great pass from Hynes to Lee for two steps and then a send and then good support in the middle from Johns.

It looks like Tino has grown over the off season. We will miss him next year. Good to see Albert Vete back. I like Chris Lewis and Darryn Schonig.
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