MELBOURNE are looking to remain perfect in 2017 but have the Broncos standing in their way to commence Round 3.
The Storm have looked every bit the premiership heavyweight many predicted they would be again in 2017 and by knocking off the Bulldogs and Warriors, have put the rest of the NRL on notice.
Brisbane go into this off the back of another heartbreaking loss to the Cowboys in Golden Point but will be confident of giving the Storm a game having beaten them at this venue last season.
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE
Melbourne will be playing their first home game of the season after having performed admirably on the road in the opening two rounds.
Wins at Belmore and Mt Smart Stadium will have the Storm primed to open their home account in similar style and going off last season’s stats, that is definitely a big possibility.
In 2016 the Storm won 10 of their 12 home games with the average winning margin in those performances topping 13 points per game. A Melbourne 13+ victory could be the way to go @ $3.35 with Palmerbet.
FAILING TO GET THE JOB DONE
BRISBANE had enough things go their way to win last Friday night but as has been the case with them in recent times, when it was there to win against one of the better teams, they let themselves down.
Despite having slightly more possession, running metres and a favourable penalty count, Brisbane squandered their chances in the dying stages to pinch the game from the Cowboys.
Although they didn’t get the points the effort was certainly there but the problem is you don’t get rewarded on effort alone.
Melbourne has been a thorn in the side of Brisbane for the better part of a decade.
The Storm has won 10 of the past 12 games against the Broncos but it was Brisbane that won their previous encounter back in round 25 last season. Given little hope of stopping a rampaging Storm outfit, Brisbane jumped the hosts early and managed to hold a 10-point buffer at the end.
Although they have been dominated by the Storm in recent times the Broncos have actually won their past two games at AAMI Park.
Expect the Storm to lift to another level with the return of one of their favourite sons, Billy Slater.
It is scary to think Melbourne can be better than what they’ve shown early on but with the addition of their regular custodian at the back, it’s added another dimension to the attack of Craig Bellamy’s outfit.
Melbourne racked up 26 points in New Zealand last week and looked ultra impressive in slicing through the Warriors defence. Brisbane has leaked points in their first two games (18 points on average) and against another title heavyweight, they will be hard pressed to stop the flow of points here.
Their chances of success have taken a big blow with the Origin forward Matt Gillett likely to miss the game due to concussion. A workhorse, his influence will be sorely missed while winger Jordan Kahu is also struggling with a thigh strain.
Couple all that together and you cannot make a strong enough argument for Brisbane to knock off Melbourne here.
MATCH WINNER TIP: MELBOURNE
FIRST TRYSCORER: SULIASI VUNIVALU
MARGIN BETTING: MELBOURNE 13+
OTHER TIP: MELBOURNE HALF / FULL DOUBLE