Round 2 - Sharks vs Storm

Discussion on anything to do with Melbourne Storm - games, players, rumours - anything!
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yourhero
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https://www.melbournestorm.com.au/news/ ... d-to-play/

Sharks v Storm: Finucane tipped to play
NRL.com
Mon 16 Mar 2020

The heat always goes up a notch when Cronulla and Melbourne meet these days, with their rivalry stemming from the Sharks' epic 2016 grand final win.

Melbourne outlasted Manly in a grinding match in round one, while the Sharks staged a mighty fightback against South Sydney but a forward pass at the death denied them a try to level the scores.

It will be a strange feeling for Cronulla to host Melbourne in the Dragons den of Netstrata Jubilee Oval in Kogarah - especially when there won't be any fans there to give the venue a "home" vibe.


The Rundown

Team news
Sharks: Winger Ronaldo Mulitalo suffered a head knock against Souths and must complete HIA protocols. Centre Bronson Xerri is pushing to return from shoulder surgery, while Josh Dugan is probably another week away at least. Matt Moylan is expected to be out for another month.

Storm: Dale Finucane was cut open after a head knock against Manly but is expected to be ready to go.

Key match-up
Blayke Brailey v Cameron Smith. It's been some sort of initiation to life as a bona fide starting NRL dummy-half for young Brailey - his first rival No.9 was Damien Cook and now he's up against arguably the greatest of all time. Both men will play important roles controlling the middle for their sides.

Where it'll be won and lost
The Sharks of the past have scrapped their way to victory over Melbourne, who like to play a similar style. Cronulla showed some flair in the second-half against South Sydney, however, with Shaun Johnson the architect - and that could be the blueprint to victory this time. The machine-like Storm will look to nail the basics as usual: defending stoutly, completing well and waiting for mistakes they can capitalise on. Simple but effective.

Brett Kimmorley says
A great rivalry that started in the 2016 grand final. Melbourne were really good in the arm-wrestle against Manly, that's the style of footy they play. The Sharks created some opportunities against Souths, especially as the game flowed on, and they had a chance to win with some better execution. They're Melbourne's bogey team and can get the job done. Sharks by 4.

Stat Attack
The Sharks and Storm split two meetings last year. Cronulla prevailed 20-18 on home turf in round eight before Melbourne exacted revenge in no uncertain terms with a 40-16 triumph in round 17. Brandon Smith scored two of the Storm's six tries.

And another thing…
There isn't much between these sides usually, with nine of their past 11 clashes totalling 32 points or less.
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yourhero
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We played that grinding style of footy for an hour against Manly and we typically play it against Cronulla for as long as they are willing.

I hope we start playing some footy earlier than an hour in though. Against Manly we had 2 offloads in the first half. In the second half we had 10. It's always a balance though, as you don't want to be turning the ball over through errors in attempting offloads.
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Storm team named;

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

14. Tino Faasuamaleaui
15. Max King
16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
17. Tom Eisenhuth

18. Harry Grant
19. Brenko Lee
20. Ryley Jacks
21. Darryn Schonig
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Same team named as last week. Only change is Harry Grant going back to the extended bench in place of NAS.

Still no Brandon Smith or Christian Welch.

Tui (at least on paper) retains the starting prop spot after a huge round 1 performance.
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Sharks team named;

1. William Kennedy
2. Sione Katoa
3. Josh Morris
4. Jesse Ramien
5. Ronaldo Mulitalo
6. Shaun Johnson
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Blayke Brailey
10. Aaron Woods
11. Briton Nikora
12. Wade Graham
13. Jack Williams

14. Connor Tracey
15. Braden Hamlin-Uele
16. Toby Rudolf
17. Scott Sorensen

18. Billy Magoulias
19. Braydon Trindall
20. Royce Hunt
21. Josh Dugan
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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/ ... 30d0df8611

Storm to face ref who had their finals say

BRENT READ
The Australian
MARCH 18, 2020

The Melbourne Storm haven’t seen Ashley Klein since the opening round of the finals last year. They haven’t missed him either.

On that occasion, they were on the wrong end of some contentious decisions that led to Klein being demoted, and in all likelihood cost the referee a chance to control the grand final.

The NRL confirmed two calls went against the Storm that ultimately played a part in them losing to Canberra.

A fortnight later their campaign was over at the hands of the Roosters, leaving Melbourne to stew on another season where they went so close, but ultimately finished so far off winning the title.

That gut-churning experience continued a long and difficult history between the Storm and Klein — at one point a few years back Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy suggested the referee didn’t like the way his side played.

On Saturday night at Jubilee Stadium against Cronulla in Sydney, they will be reacquainted as Klein takes control of the Storm for the first time since that game against the Raiders in last year’s finals series.

The Storm are coming off a comprehensive win over Manly, silencing some of the pundits who suggested the club was on the slide following the exits of Will Chambers and Curtis Scott.

They will fly to Sydney on a charter jet on Saturday afternoon and fly back to Melbourne straight after the game, part of the NRL’s attempts to isolate the players and keep them out of areas where they could be exposed to COVID-19.

“Crazy times,” said Kiwi Test and Storm prop Jesse Bromwich.

“I think that is the best thing we can do at the moment. I think it is a good initiative. It is different — I haven’t done that since I was in under 20s.

“Your eating times are different. Lots of guys like to nap and that sort of thing before the game. That might be out the window.”

Forward Dale Finucane added: “It is about adapting because everyone is in a similar boat. Teams that do travel are in the same boat as us. I am someone who likes to have a bit of a nap on game day. Maybe sleeping in a bit more or trying to get a kip on the plane is something I will do.’’
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yourhero
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Good on Ready for writing that article. I despise every single game we play under Klein. There is a mountain of evidence, over a LONG period of time to show that he exhibits bias against us. Why do the NRL continue to assign him Storm games?
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yourhero wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:25 pm There is a mountain of evidence, over a LONG period of time to show that he exhibits bias against us. Why do the NRL continue to assign him Storm games?
You just answered your own question.
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yourhero wrote: Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:25 pm Good on Ready for writing that article. I despise every single game we play under Klein. There is a mountain of evidence, over a LONG period of time to show that he exhibits bias against us. Why do the NRL continue to assign him Storm games?
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No one would be surprised to see the captains challenge used successfully tomorrow night!
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Remember a match years ago v Newcastle, where he made three refereeing errors in last 2 or 3 minutes to help Newcastle score two tries to win and cost us a double chance.
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Scooter wrote: Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:07 pm Remember a match years ago v Newcastle, where he made three refereeing errors in last 2 or 3 minutes to help Newcastle score two tries to win and cost us a double chance.
I remember that. Two tries in the last two minutes. Waddell was standing way offside at marker, then stripped Slater of the ball to score. Right in front of Klein. Play on. Try. No need to check it. :roll:

I despise the prick.
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Klein is the reason that, one day, the federal police will investigate a result
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If I remember correctly that game also had the awful tackled into touch as the ref called held call twice going against us. Both were the wrong calls.
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Jacks and Schonig drop out
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