THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos
AAMI Stadium, 7:35pm
Storm: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Maurice Blair, Justin O’Neill, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Adam Blair, Sika Manu, Kevin Proctor, Interchange (from): Rory Kostjasyn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe, Todd Lowrie
Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren Lockyer (c), Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange (from): Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Mitchell Dodds, Josh McGuire, Dunamis Lui
Mouth watering only begins to describe this impending clash between two competition heavy weights.
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has made it clear that Storm hooker Cameron Smith could be the ‘x-factor’ in this game and that success may depend on whether or not his side can shut Smith down. I won’t be surprised if Broncos lock Corey Parker will be instructed to play right in the middle of the field with the sole aim of stopping Smith. Smith’s kicking game will go hand in hand with Cooper Cronk’s kicking game in a bid to gain maximum field position and keep the Broncos pinned in their own half. Don’t be surprised to see plenty of kicks in play before the last tackle.
There is going to be plenty of lateral attacking movements when each team penetrates their opposition 20 and we are going to see some great battles between the three-quarter positions, particularly Justin Hodges who will go head to head with the man he forced out of the QLD origin side in Dane Nielsen. Don’t take your eyes off the opposite side of the field where Jack Reed and Maurice Blair will be in a battle of raw strength.
Grab a drink and strap yourself in for the ride!
Mike’s Best Bet: None
Starting Bank: $2000, Current Bank $2478.42
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)