MATCH UP STATS
Round 10 ResultMelbourne Storm: Storm 28 defeated Titans 14Manly Sea Eagles: Sea Eagles 38 defeated Broncos 24
7.35pm Saturday May 19, 2018, at AAMI Park
Can the Melbourne Storm get the job done without their inspirational leader Cameron Smith after he copped a one game suspension or will it be Manly causing an upset in back-to-back weeks?
The Sea Eagles were terrific last round in their underdog win over the red-hot Brisbane Broncos away from home. Manly were looking to snap a five game winning streak that Brisbane had put together, and they did it with ease.
The Storm smashed the Gold Coast Titans by 14 points on Saturday night, but as mentioned before it came at a cost with Cam Smith suspended for a leg pull on former teammate Kevin Proctor, which resulted in a nasty groin injury.
The fourth placed Storm need to win to keep their position inside the top-four and Sea Eagles need to register another two points to make an unlikely charge towards the finals.
It bodes well for a fascinating contest.
Players to watch – Storm v Sea Eagles
Storm – Billy Slater: Much of the leadership burden will be left Billy Slater with Cameron Smith out and we’re expecting the representative full back to step-up in the Storm’s hour of need. Slater has been decent without being at his absolute peak this season, but we’re anticipating a big jump in performance.
Sea Eagles – Daly Cherry-Evans: After a strange opening to the season Cherry-Evans has been in great form recently. DCE was one of the main architects for Manly’s upset win, with his kicking a feature of the 12 point win. For Manly to win Cherry-Evans will have to be at his best.
1 Billy Slater (c), 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Christian Welch, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Joe Stimson, 17 Jahrome Hughes
Sea Eagles team
1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Frank Winterstein, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Toafofoa Sipley
Storm v Sea Eagles – who will win?
Losing Smith for this match is a huge blow for the Melbourne Storm but if any coach in the league has been able to continually overcome adversity it’s Craig Bellamy.
Thankfully for Bellamy he has the star in the making Cameron Munster ready to assume Smith’s position as the side’s chief playmaker, and the Queensland representative should be able to make the transition seamlessly.
Whether the Sea Eagles can maintain their level of last week is the real question here. Even without Smith the Storm will be much more disciplined and determined than the Broncos of last week.
We’re favouring the Storm to prevail in this one, but by a much slimmer margin than many are anticipating.
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