NRL Round 1: Storm vs. Broncos Preview & Betting Tips

Let’s kickoff 2019 with a heavyweight showdown between the Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos

James Baxter
 | 
Wed, 13 Mar, 12:00 AM

Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

Every year it seems Melbourne face a crossroads with their squad future – and every year Melbourne defy their doubters. In 2019 they enter a season where arguably the sport’s greatest fullback Billy Slater has retired, where they have made no notable recruitment – and yet are deservedly a Premiership favourite. In coach Craig Bellamy the Storm have NRL’s longest tenured coach, they possess a ruthless forward pack and in wingers Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr two of the game’s best finishers.

A disappointing 2018 Grand Final performance will have left a sour taste in the Storm’s mouths – and with the motivation to go one better in 2019.

New Broncos coach – new Broncos era. 2018 Dally M Coach of the Year Anthony Seibold left South Sydney in somewhat acrimonious circumstances to move north and take on the challenge of breaking Brisbane’s Premiership drought. No titles since 2006 is unacceptable for Brisbane, will a coach with only one full season of NRL head coaching experience be the man to bring the Premiership back to Red Hill?

 

2019 TRIAL RESULTS

Storm 6 – Warriors 12

Cowboys 14 – Storm 6

Broncos 42 – Souths Logan Magpies 0

Wynnum-Manly Seagulls 12 – Broncos 26

Titans 22 – Broncos 25

 

TRIAL TAKEAWAYS

Only two tries scored in 160 minutes is a red flag for Melbourne– and Scott Drinkwater’s torn pectoral muscle inadvertently answers Bellamy’s fullback conundrum as Jahrome Hughes is now given first chance to fill Slater’s shoes.

There’s no doubting Tevita Pangai Junior’s talent – but unfortunately another hamstring injury suffered by the Tongan international means the Broncos will be relying heavily on Matt Gillett making a seamless return to NRL level from a broken neck to lead their forward pack loaded with young talent.

 

KEY STATS

  •     -  Craig Bellamy joined Melbourne in 2003 – and is yet to lose a round one clash.
  •     -  Jahrome Hughes has previously played at fullback for Melbourne against Brisbane – and scored his first Storm try in doing so.

 

Tip: Melbourne

Best bet: Storm to win either half $1.22 TAB

Value bet: Jahrome Hughes to score anytime $2.75 with Sportsbet

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