The only positive to came out of the game last week for the Knights was that it means their season is now another week closer to being over.
They were pummelled 50 – 10 by the Rabbitohs last week in Cairns. A far cry from the tenacious effort they produced in the previous round to upset the Roosters at their home-ground.
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A return to Newcastle might see an improved effort again, they’ve won two of their last three at Hunter Stadium and this week welcome back Jarrod Mullen (five-eight), Kade Snowden (Prop) and Akuila Uate (Wing) with Kurt Gidley dropping back to fullback.
The improvement will have to be significant though as they face Melbourne, who they’ve only beat once in nine games played since 2010, a side looking for their fourth win in a row.
With the Origin series now behind them and with the return from injury of halfback and team gen-eral Cooper Cronk, the Melbourne Storm are playing like a side with the finals firmly in their sights.
The Storm have faced Canberra, Brisbane, and Monday night just gone, the Tigers in the past three weeks and have recorded 13+ wins over each side, playing themselves into some dangerous form after an indifferent period over the Origin Series.
Winger Marika Koroibete scored a double against the Tigers, making it four tries from the past three games for the Storm Winger.
The good form has seen the Storm rise to sixth on the ladder and with them facing the Sharks in next week’s match, the Storm should be sitting comfortably on 30 competition points heading into the final three rounds of the season.
Coach Craig Bellamy has gone with the same squad as last week.
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HEAD TO HEAD.
The Storm have dominated the Knights since 2006, winning all bar three of the seventeen games played between the two clubs.
Even though it will be the third week on the road for the Storm and that they’re backing up quickly from a Monday night game, their overall record and recent form make it impossible to tip Newcas-tle to produce an upset.
Knights: Kurt Gidley, Chanel Mata’utia, Dane Gagai, Joseph Leilua, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Kade Snowden, Adam Clydsdale, Willie Mason, Beau Scott, Robbie Rochow, Jeremy Smith. Interchange: Travis Waddell, Korbin Sims, Adam Cuthbertson, David Fa’alogo, Chris Houston
Ins: Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Kade Snowden. Chris Houston. Outs: Sione Mata’utia, Jake Mamo, Joseph Tapine
Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Mahe Fonua, Marika Koroibete, Ben Roberts, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Tim Glasby, Tohu Harris, Kenneath Bromwich, Jordan McLean, Dayne Weston, Kurt Mann
Ins: Dayne Weston, Kurt Mann. Outs: None