Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks (Sun) Betting Preview | NRL Betting Tips

The Grand Final rematch promises to be an absolute ripper between the Storm and Sharks.

Oddschecker
 | 
Sun, 9 Apr, 1:53 AM


 

The Grand Final rematch promises to be an absolute ripper between the Storm and Sharks.

 

Melbourne are the only unbeaten team in the competition after five rounds and will charge into this game full of confidence after handling Penrith 28-6.

 

Cronulla head to AAMI Park having secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season although they would have loved to have done it easier against Newcastle in Round 5 rather than scraping home 19-18.

 

 

 

THE ONES TO BEAT

 

MELBOURNE has established themselves as the ones to beat this season.

 

The best defensive outfit of 2016 they are once again the hardest team to score points on in 2017. The Storm are conceding just 9.6 points per game through the opening five rounds with the Dragons a distant second with 14.4ppg.

 

Even though they beat Penrith easily last week their defence was outstanding in the second half as the Panthers had the majority of possession, and chances, in the second 40 minutes. On top of that, Melbourne conceded 12 penalties which is something Craig Bellamy wouldn’t be too pleased with.

 

 

HARD TO PICK

 

CRONULLA have been a hard team to follow for punters this season.

 

The premiers have three wins from five games but they definitely lack the same polish which saw them knock off Canberra, North Queensland and Melbourne on the way to lifting the trophy.

 

This is highlighted by the fact their two defeats have been against teams in and around the top eight in Stgeorge Illawarra (second) and Brisbane (ninth). Strangely, those two losses are more than they had at Shark Park all of last season!

 

In fact, if it wasn’t for James Maloney’s boot last week landing a crucial field goal against the Knights, they’d be 0-3 in front of their own fans.

 

THE HISTORY

 

 

Cronulla has won two of the past three games in this fixture, however, prior to the start of the 2016 season it was all Melbourne.

 

Storm fans and punters can take heart from the fact they’ve dominated Cronulla for a number of years. Between 2006 and the end of 205, Melbourne had won 12 of the 14 contests between the sides with seven of those victories by 18 points or more.

 

When looking at games at AAMI Park, history suggests the Sharks are up against it as they’ve lost all seven matches they’ve played at the venue with the last four being by an average of 28 points.

 

That includes the last regular season game they played, in Round 26 last year, which ended in the Storm winning 26-6 and taking out the Minor Premiership.

 

Storm to win 13+ anyone? You can have $2.65 with William Hill.

 

THE VERDICT

 

It’s hard not to be impressed with the Storm has done through five rounds of the competition.

 

Boasting the league’s best defence and a formidable home ground record (two losses in 15 games), they definitely look a cut above the premiers at this stage.

 

Of course, Melbourne will want to exact some revenge for losing the decider last season but the one question mark we have is what affect the announcement of Cooper Cronk leaving at the end of the year will have on the team.

 

The champion halfback has been part of the ‘Big Three’ and prior to that the ‘Big four’ at the Storm for well over a decade – will the team lift or will they flounder?

 

We don’t think the likes of Cameron Smith and Billy Slater will let the team drop its professionalism and as such they are close to good things here.

 

It’s a big call to make, especially in a game such as this where there is plenty of spite between the sides, but we are confident enough to take the Storm.

 

Cronulla have looked just off the pace in most of their games, including last week, where they should have smashed Newcastle. Did they have one eye on this match? It’s hard to say but you can only bet with what you see in front of you and for us that means bypassing the premiers here.

 

 

 

 

 

MATCH WINNER TIP:  

MELBOURNE

 

FIRST TRYSCORER:  

SULIASI VUNIVALU

 

MARGIN BETTING:   

MELBOURNE 1-12

 

 

Other tip:   

SHARKS TO SCORE 20 POINTS OR LESS

 

MELBOURNE STORM vs CRONULLA SHARKS – Sunday afternoon 4pm, AAMI Park

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