Rd 3. The BIG Match-Ups – Monday Night


Source: Heraldsun.com.au
Source: Heraldsun.com.au

Round 3 The Big Match Ups – Monday Night

Melbourne v Newcastle

  • In Melbourne the Storm are very difficult to beat but Knights are a very experienced crew so away venue is unlikely to interfere with the prep or performance.
  • Melbourne won at home last Saturday over Panthers so they have had big opportunity for working on what is actually going on with their patchy start to the season. Newcastle competed hard in that narrow loss at home to Raiders last Sunday evening.
  • Newcastle missing Boyd and Mullen while Melbourne will be without Matt Duffie.
  • Minto versus Slater. They both hale from QLD originally. They both played in other positions before transferring to #1. They both will be playing in this match. After that you will have to work it out as I can’t much else in the comparison. It is a massive ask of his coach to put Minto into this situation again after a nightmare debut.
  • Cronk versus Roberts is a beaut match up in my view. The veteran, all process and mechanics, meeting the youngster who has shone already his attacking natural instincts and talents. Roberts relapsed last week in his improving tackling so he will have some work to do there versus Proctor working off Cronk. Hampton the promising rookie will meet the veteran Dobson trying to re-ignite his NRL career. Hampton will be trying to create one on ones as Milford did last match in ripping Dobson for speed on his outside.
  • The #9’s two tremendous club champions. Smith with his reading the game, subtlety and execution provides the base of all things Storm.  Gidley with his rock hard attitude, relentless pursuit of physical dominance and inspirational leadership from the front on every play every set every week..
  • There is a real feel of experience in both packs – Norrie/Rose/Hoffman/Hinchcliffe/Cam Smith versus Jeremy Smith/Mason/Scott and Gidley. My personal preference is the newer more powerful and skilful Jesse Bromwich.
  • More wing battles in this match with McManus likely on Waqa – won’t there be some jumping for high balls going on there. On the other side the rookie Tonumaipea is listed to start on Uate. It won’t surprise me to see a late change there for a different match up as that is a huge miss-match.
  • The biggest difference in these teams is the kicking options and execution. Smith and Cronk hold a huge advantage in performance levels to Newcastle’s Dobson’s predictability and Gidley and Roberts inconsistency in quality.


Summary and Tip: Melbourne by plenty after a good old fashioned bash up attempt early by Knights. If Storm don’t win the physical they always have the “footy smarts” to fall back on.