Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm
Canberra Stadium, 2:00pm
Raiders $2.45, Storm $1.55
Raiders: Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Jarrod Croker, Joel Thompson, Daniel Vidot, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, Brett White, Alan Tongue (c), Dane Tilse, Danny Galea, Bronson Harrison, Shaun Fensom. Interchange (from): Glen Buttriss, Joe Picker, Sam Mataora, Trevor Thurling, Josh Miller
Storm: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Maurice Blair, Sisa Waqa, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe
When these two sides met earlier in the year it was probably only Raiders supporters that thought they could upstage a white hot Melbourne side. I certainly didn’t think they had a chance and it’s certainly going to be a tough task if they want to make it two in a row against the Storm. Canberra has the home ground advantage which always helps at this time of the year when the nation’s capital can be a cold unforgiving place.
Like the Broncos on Friday night, the Storm will have been able to train together as a team for the full week now that State of Origin is finished. The way the Storm’s attack has dropped off over the origin period might indicate an increase in points scored this week. The Storm’s defence has been the key to keeping them on top of the ladder and the Raiders would do well to risk throwing the ball around a bit. Even in their own half I’d like to see the Raiders show plenty of lateral movement in a bid to break the Storm defensive line.
If this happens and the Storm’s attack lifts a notch then we could be in for quite an entertaining display led by the two fullbacks, Billy Slater and Josh Dugan who is likely to play after his 5 week layoff with injury.
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2478.42
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)