There should be fireworks aplenty when the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels meet in the NRL semi-finals this weekend.
The Storm were the highest-scoring team in the home-and-away season, but the Eels were only two places back in the attack rankings.
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Some might even say Parra’s back half looks more potent on paper, not least after their 58-0 humiliation of the Brisbane Broncos last week.
Melbourne had much less fortune in the first round of finals, going down to the Canberra Raiders on the back of a Josh Addo-Carr howler and an unfathomable touchline call.
There is no time for finger pointing, however, as the Storm have used their lifeline and must turn their focus to another Saturday night clash at AAMI Park.
Melbourne Storm team news
Craig Bellamy has made no changes to the 17 that went down to the Raiders in such agonising fashion. Cameron Munster made a seamless return from injury last week, so Brodie Croft is marooned in the reserves alongside Tom Eisenhuth, Tino Faasuamaleaui and Curtis Scott.
Parramatta Eels team news
Kane Evans returns from suspension to reclaim his place at starting prop, which sees Daniel Alvaro shift to the interchange and Ray Stone drop to the reserves. Also in the emergencies are Josh Hoffman, Jaeman Salmon and Peni Terepo.
Out: Ray Stone
In: Kane Evans
Storm vs Eels tryscorer betting
Josh Addo-Carr – If anybody owes his club a big performance this week, it’s JAC. Get on the NSW winger for first tryscorer at $8 with Bet365.
Maika Sivo – Parra scored 11 tries against the Broncos, but the standout is always Sivo. The $2.25 for anytime tryscorer at Bet365 is great value.
Storm vs Eels stats and trends
- The Storm are aiming for their fifth consecutive appearance in the prelims
- Melbourne beat Parra 18-16 in the 2017 NRL finals en route to the title
- Parra’s 58-point win over the Broncos set a new record margin for NRL finals
- The favourite has won each of the last nine games between these two sides
Storm vs Eels betting predictions
Melbourne Storm by 1-12 points – $2.85 at Bet365
Say what you want about Brisbane’s preparation last week, the Eels were awesome. The question is whether they can do it away from home in a clutch contest. The Storm will be fuming after letting another one slip to the Raiders and will want to stamp out the notion that they tend to use up their best footy in the regular season. Both sides will come out with guns blazing, but the hosts should edge it.
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