The Raiders will need to produce a huge performance to beat their bogey side.
Canberra has its worst record of any side against Melbourne with just 11 wins from 38 matches. That is just under 29 percent so they will need to find something extra here if they are to take the two points.
At least they will have a bit of confidence going into this match after beating the Dragons 18-14 at home in Golden Point last week – their first win under Golden Point rules this season following three losses.
Melbourne had the luxury of the week off but prior to that couldn’t get over the line when Origin effected against Parramatta, eventually going down 22-6.
TIME TO LIFT
Many punters had CANBERRA either contesting this year’s Grand Final or going very close to it, however, things haven’t panned out that way.
Sitting two wins outside the top eight, Canberra cannot afford to lose too many more games and coming up against the league leaders here makes their prospects of playing finals footy pretty remote.
The positive thing about this match is that they will have some momentum and in 2017 when a win has come the way of the Green Machine, more often than not it has been followed up with two or three in succession.
Notorious for losing the close ones this season, Ricky Stuart’s men finally got one go their way against the Dragons last week. Can they keep it going here?
HARD TO KILL
MELBOURNE STORM have been the benchmark team for most of the season and there’s one statistic that reinforces why.
Yes, they have the best defence in the NRL and are ranked second in the competition for attack, it’s the fact they don’t lose many consecutive games which puts them miles in front of the pack.
The State Of Origin period doesn’t treat the Storm well so it was no surprise to see them drop that game against Parramatta last start when they were missing the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk amongst others.
Don’t be expecting them to lose two in a row though because it’s something that hasn’t happened since midway through 2015 – a streak of 52 matches and counting!
That shows that the side has the determination not to let failure build up within the club.
As mentioned earlier it is the Melbourne Storm who dominate this contest.
Craig Bellamy’s side has won eight of the past 13 encounters including the last time they played which was in the Preliminary Final last season. On that occasion it was the Storm who prevailed 14-12 at AAMI Park.
The match prior to that saw Canberra issue a statement to the rest of the competition that they were genuine premiership contenders. That was back in Round 23 last year at GIO Stadium where they won convincingly 22-8.
Overall, Melbourne has contained Canberra quite well over the years with the Raiders topping 20 points on just two occasions in the past six games.
MELBOURNE ($1.51 @ Unibet) are good things for us.
The Origin period is over and their side comes into this off the bye. They have been playing some lethal footy of late and it is hard to see Canberra dulling their attack as they did against the Dragons last week.
In Round 19 they had the aid of the referees with a huge penalty count in their favour at halftime, however, they may not be able to get that against the Storm. You also have to factor in that battering ram Josh Papalii is out of action for two weeks after hitting Josh Dugan high last week.
While the Raiders are always hard to beat at home and have five wins at the ground this season, Melbourne are 8-1 on the road in 2017 and have won 12 of the past 15 in the nation’s capital.
MELBOURNE HALF-FULL DOUBLE