The Storm welcomed back their Origin stars for their clash against the Bulldogs last week but their inclusion wasn’t enough to hold out another determined effort from the Bulldogs, who grinded out a tough 6 – 4 win.
It was the Storm’s second loss in a row and their fourth from their past six outings. It also meant that the once fortress like venue of AAMI Park was further weakened with the Storm this year recording five wins from their nine home-games.
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They did have the chance to tie the game up in the final minutes of the match and pushing the Bulldogs – who have won their last three on the trot and sit at the top of the ladder, is a solid benchmark to go by.
They Storm have named the seventeen as last week with the Hoffman and Hinchcliffe to start rather than come from the bench.
The Raiders recorded a rare win and an even rarer victory away from home when posting a 36 – 20 win over the Titans last week on the Gold Coast.
The Raiders wrestled the lead off of the home-side late in the first half and were able to hold that advantage for most of the second stanza before posting three late tries to seal the win.
The Titans were on the quick back-up from a Monday night win over the Rabbitohs but did have the likes of Myles, Taylor and Bird backing up from Origin.
The Raiders will take any win that they can get at the moment given it was their first for five weeks and only their fifth of the season but it still wasn’t an effort that would be worthy of worrying a much more consistent Storm side.
The Raiders will welcome back Brett White and Joel Edwards to the forward pack whilst Jarrad Kennedy starts in the centres for Brenko Lee.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Remarkably, the Raiders have won three of their past four against the Storm with the most recent match, in round 7 this year at Canberra, seeing the Raiders hold on to a 24 – 22 win.
Their last two visits to AAMI Park have also resulted in a wins and the Storm will have to be on full alert for this match with the Raiders, who are coming off a win and have nothing to lose, set to throw everything at them.
Each of the past four games have resulted in plenty of match points – averaging 53.5 points.
With both sides happy to let the ball do the work, the same could be on the cards here, with the Storm coming out on top.
STORM: Billy Slater, Marika Koroibete, Will Chambers, Kurt Mann, Mahe Fonua, Ben Roberts, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Tim Glasby, Tohu Harris, Junior Moors, Jordan McLean.
RAIDERS: Anthony Milford, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Jarrad Kennedy, Sami Sauiluma, Terry Campese, Josh McCrone, David Shillington, Glen Buttriss, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Kurt Baptiste, Paul Vaughan, Dane Tilse, Shannon Boyd, Matthew Allwood.