We take a look at Thursday’s (4/7/2019) NRL 2019 Week 16 match is between St George-Illawarra Dragons and the Melbourne Storm. The Melbourne Storm go into the match as the overwhelming favourites in betting.
When: Thursday July 4, 7:50pm
Where: WIN Stadium
Bet: Bet On This Match HERE
The Melbourne Storm have kicked three games clear at the top of the standings, but face a trip to Wollongong without their Origin stars ande looking to win their seventh game on the trot. Cameron Munster, Christian Welch, Dale Finucane, Felise Kaufusi, Josh Addo-Carr and Will Chambers are all out of the team that beat the Chooks 14-12 in Adelaide last Friday night. The Dragons are similarly decimated by Origin, losing both halves, Ben Hunt and Corey Norman, as well as their best forwards in Paul Vaughn, Tariq Sims and Tyson Frizell.
Melbourne found itself in yet another arm wrestle against the Roosters, before a 64th minute penalty goal separated the two teams. A big accident on the M1 freeway saw a sparse crowd fill WIN Stadium to see St George get the better of North Queensland 22-14. The Dragons trailed 10-0 and when Michael Morgan went off with concussion early in the second half, it was all one way traffic for the hosts, who had 53 per cent possession and 7 more sets than their opposition.
The teams have split their past four meetings, with the Storm winning 52-30 in round 17 last season, but losing their Sydney match up to the Dragons by 20 points, in a statement win for St George. In their last match at WIN Stadium, the Storm got the job done 34-22. With such wholesale changes to both sides, particularly in the halves, it’s hard to know what to expect on Thursday night. The Wolf knows the Storm will benefit from the experience of Cameron Smith in the forwards and their forward contingent is largely unchanged. This makes it hard to pass up the competition leaders winning this one and it could be all one way traffic, given the Dragons’ poor bench unit.
Tip: Melbourne Storm at $1.45
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Sandor Earl at $7.50
Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jonus Pearson 3. Euan Aitken 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jai Field 7. Darren Nicholls 8. Korbin Sims 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Jeremy Latimore 11. Jacob Host 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Blake Lawrie Interchange: 14. Josh Kerr 15. Reece Robson 16. Patrick Kaufusi 17. Mitchell Allgood Reserves: 19. Jackson Ford 21. Tristan Sailor
Storm: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 4. Solomone Kata 3. Justin Olam 5. Sandor Earl 6. Billy Walters 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Joe Stimson 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith Interchange: 14. Albert Vete 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui 16. Tui Kamikamica 17. Ryan Papenhuyzen Reserves: 18. Marion Seve 19. Tom Eisenhuth
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change