The league’s two southernmost clubs meet this Saturday in a clash that could shape the 2019 NRL Premiership race.
The Melbourne Storm were given a serious test by South Sydney last Sunday, but the league leaders’ class shone through as they clinched a 26-16 result on the Central Coast.
SEE ALSO: NRL ROUND 22 BETTING PREVIEW
Now they will look to knock off another premiership rival as the Canberra Raiders travel down the Hume Highway for their second top-four tussle in as many weeks.
They fell short against Sydney last time out, but Ricky Stuart’s men appear destined to feature prominently in the back end of September.
Melbourne Storm Round 22 team news
Nicho Hynes was superb on debut in Gosford, but he steps aside so Jahrome Hughes can reclaim the no.1 jersey. Ryan Papenhuyzen replaces Billy Walters on the bench in the only other change for the Storm.
Out: Nicho Hynes, Billy Walters
In: Jahrome Hughes, Ryan Papenhuyzen
Canberra Raiders Round 22 team news
The big news out of the capital is the return of Joey Leilua, who has not played since hurting his neck in round seven. That sees Nick Cotric shift to the wing and Bailey Simonsson benched, although the latter could make way altogether if Siliva Havili is recalled.
Out: Siliva Havili
In: Joseph Leilua
Storm vs Raiders first tryscorer odds
Josh Addo-Carr – Melbourne’s lightning winger was a constant threat against the Bunnies, yet he failed to convert that menace into points. Expect him to rectify that as Sportsbet’s $7 favourite for first tryscorer.
Nick Cotric – He has only scored one try in six games at centre this year, but a move back to the wing could free up Cotric in the forward half. The $2.20 at Sportsbet for anytime tryscorer looks a good bet.
Storm vs Raiders NRL stats and trends
- Melbourne have lost only three games this year – two of those by golden point
- The Storm won 22-10 at GIO Stadium in the reverse fixture back in round two
- Melbourne (248) and Canberra (300) rank one and two for fewest points conceded
- Raiders fullback Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad tops the comp for kick return metres (1,400)
Storm vs Raiders NRL Round 22 predictions
Melbourne Storm by 1-12 points – $2.88 at Sportsbet
The Storm lost to Manly in their last home game, but the chances of another slip-up at AAMI Park are slim to none. The Raiders will give them a contest, however, and their measly defence will ensure the margin stays respectable.
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