Melbourne Storm Vs New Zealand Warriors
25 April 2017, 7pm (AEST)

Melbourne Storm, 2nd, 6-0-1

For a club that won the game, the press conference resembled more like a wake, than a happy coach and captain. Captain C. Smith was not happy with his sides performance and let it be known. He Heavily criticised their defensive effort (allowed 5 tries) as soft, one thing for sure I wouldn’t want to be at his captains run this week.
Despite his thoughts, the Storm skipped away to a flying start, scoring in the first minute and quickly followed this up with three more tries, taking an early 18-0 lead. They allowed 2 tries but then hit back with two of their own via F. Kaufusi, but a late B. Kelly try kept Manly in the hunt.
The Storm then didn’t score a solitary point in the second 40 minutes, the previous week they failed to score a try vs Cronulla, a little concerning, however hey did enough to get the two points vs a gutsy Manly team.
New Zealand Warriors, 11th, 3-0-4

One of the hardest teams to get a read on and last round was not much better. They came flying out of the gates vs the Raiders and scored the opening try in the 6th minute. A shock to all the Raiders fans, but that would be the last time they would cross over the white line. A S. Johnson penalty conversion would be the only other points for them. It was a gallant effort by the Warriors, holding the Raiders out until the 19th minute, where B.J. Leilua scored his first of 2 tries for the night. The Warriors then managed to take the lead into half time and with held a lot of the Raiders attacking plays off. It took, B.J.Leilua in the 59th minute to get over and what seems to be a trend for the Raiders, is if they score one try and second and sometimes third try isn’t far away. Unfortunately for the Warriors, this was the case with sustained pressure from the Raiders, a sneaky snipe from J. Hodgson in the 66th minute all but sealed their loss. A gallant effort away from home, but it gets no easier this week.

Stats that matter:
Round 7
Completion rate Storm 91%, Warriors 67%
Errors Storm 5 to Warriors 17
Missed tackles comparison Storm 22, Warriors 37
Possession 49% to storm, Warriors 46%
Run meters Storm 1,527m, Warriors 1,474m
Points scored Storm 30, Warriors 8
Points leaked Storm 26, Warriors 20

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

Melbourne Storm

C. Munster is still relegated onto the bench with R. Jacks showing enough to start. This may change, time will tell. If they run with a similar interchange Munster will get the lions share of game time again.
W. Chambers slots back into centre, forcing Y. Tonumaipea out to 18th man, as S. Vinivalu and J.A-Carr has secured the wing positions this year to date.
team changes, injuries to affect game

New Zealand Warriors

Finally getting some consistency in their team with no changes listed 1-17, but exciting news for B. Matulino fans as he could make his return on the bench.

Their last 5 game report card:

Storm have won 4 games, 2 at AAMI park,
NZ have won once and that was at Mt Smart stadium.

2017 – Round 2 – Storm won by 16 points at MT Smart Stadium
2016 – Round 8 – Storm won by 42 points at AAMI stadium
2016 – Round 3 – Storm won by 7 points at MT Smart Stadium
2015 – Round 18 – NZ won by 14 points at MT Smart Stadium
2015 – Round 5 – Storm won by 16 points at AAMI Park

Fun fact for the conspiracy lovers out there, NZ has won every three years at AAMI stadium since 2011:
2011, won by 4 and 8 points, 2012 Lost by 18, 2013 lost by 10,
2014 Won by 6, 2015 lost by 16, 2016 lost by 42
2017…………can they cause an upset? So far this round 4 under dogs have from 6 games.
What we take from this?
It will be a hard slog for the Warriors this game, with C. Smith’s post game reaction I would not want to be playing them this week. The Storm will be too clinical and with less errors they will be unable to upset the Warriors. If the Warriors get unpicked early with a few tries, it could get ugly.

For Us Storm win, however $1.30 odds is not worth the risk, especially in this round where the under dogs seem to be winning.

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In round 2 this year the Warriors only managed 10 points at Home vs the Storm.
So far this season on away games (3), New Zealand have not scored over 12 points.
The Storm have not conceded more than 12 points whilst being at home in 2017.

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