NRL Round 9 – Match 3 Preview: Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos

Things are just going from bad to worse for the Broncos this season, as they have failed to win six of their eight games and now face the fearsome Storm on Sunday afternoon at Melbourne’s new AAMI Park stadium.

Brisbane have suffered their worst start to the season since 1999 and last week they couldn’t win at home when they lost to the Knights, so beating the Storm in Melbourne, something they haven’t been able to do in the last eight years, looks nearly impossible. That is why the Broncos are at the very long odds of $5 through while the Storm are the hot favourites at $1.18.

Melbourne are playing a very unique type of football now and are able to relax and have a bit more fun out there. They have been very strong coming off two big wins ahead of the Warriors and then the Cowboys and look safe as houses this round to make it three successive victories.

The Storm do have a number of their big stars backing up from Aus v NZ test match on Friday, including captain Cameron Smith and the big three of Slater, Inglis and Cronk.

Brisbane on the other hand have just three players in total playing rep footy on Friday, but they are instrumental players as skipper Darren Lockyer and Sam Thaiday play for the Kangaroos and Alex Glenn represents New Zealand.

The Broncos will struggle to score with so many factors going against them here. Melbourne can’t keep this ‘up-beat’ winning streak going forever, but they will win on Saturday night and by a huge margin too. This one will be painful for the Brisbane fans.

The last time they met in September grand final qualifier last year the Storm thrashed the Broncos 40 – 10 and it will be the same if not worse for Brisbane this time. And, with the Sharks enjoying a bye this week, Brisbane are likely to finish Round 9 as the last team in contention for the Premiership.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Storm $1.18 – Broncos $5

Round 9 Storm Team:

1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Duffie 3. Willie Isa 4. Greg Inglis 5. Anthony Quinn 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Bryan Norrie 9. Cameron Smith (c) 10. Jeff Lima 11. Adam Blair 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Todd Lowrie

Bench: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Kevin Proctor 16. Ryan Tandy 17. Jesse Browmwich; Reserves: 18. Hep Cahill

Round 9 Broncos Team:

1. Josh Hoffman 2. Denan Kemp 3. Ben Te’o 4. Israel Folau 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Ben Hunt 8. Shane Tronc 9. Alex Glenn 10. Mitchell Dodds 11. Dunamis Lui 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker

Bench: 14. Lagi Setu 15. Scott Anderson 16. Corey Norman 17. Steve Michaels