NRL Round 24 – Match 5 Footy Preview: Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks

The gritty Sharks face one of their toughest end-of-season tests on Saturday night when they travel to Melbourne to play the Storm at AAMI Park.

No matter the result here, Cronulla still have something to thank Melbourne for, saving them from finishing with the wooden spoon this season.

The Sharks are in 14th spot on the ladder and are still motivated to not finish last of the premiership contenders at the end of the year, fighting over the ‘teaspoon’ with the Cowboys.

After losing six on the trot, Cronulla proved they are still capable of causing an upset and having an impact on the configuration of the top eight when they beat the Roosters last round giving new coach Shane Flanagan his first win with them, and so the Storm cannot come into this match with a complacent attitude.

Melbourne enjoyed a narrow victory of their own last week beating the Rabbitohs and will be boosted by the home ground advantage here.

Obviously Storm start as the favourites and are currently paying $1.28 for a win through Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the Sharks at $3.65.

This is the first time since the opening round that these two have played each other, and back then it wasn’t the slaughtering people had predicted as the Storm won by just four.

Expect another tough and tense tumble here and yes Melbourne will win through class and big name players, but it will be by a smaller margin than the odds suggest.

Watch for referee Luke Phillips, former NRL champ with the Roosters, making his debut.

Is also a big match for Billy Slater vying for the Melbourne Storm tries scored club record. Just one try for the star fullback will see him surpass Matt Geyer’s record of 113 tries for the Storm.

Footy Tip of the Match – Melbourne to win by 1 – 6 points at $6.25 at Ladbrokes.com.au

Current Head-to-Head Odds:

Storm $1.28 – Sharks $3.65 Ladbrokes.com.au

NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:

These two have been very even with their average points scored per match over the past month or so and the last time they met it was a four-point result. That is why we are tipping Melbourne to win by 1 – 6 points at $6.25 through Ladbrokes.com.au.

Round 24 Storm Team:

1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Duffie 3. Dane Nielsen 4. Greg Inglis 5. Justin O’Neill 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Bryan Norrie 9. Cameron Smith 10. Brett White 11. Sika Manu 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Adam Blair

Bench: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Kevin Proctor 16. Jeff Lima 17. Todd Lowrie

Reserve: 18. Jesse Bromwich

Round 24 Sharks Team:

1. Nathan Gardner 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Dean Collis 4. Ben Pomeroy 5. Luke Covell 6. Trent Barrett 7. Tim Smith 8. Kade Snowden 9. John Morris 10. Luke Douglas 11. Grant Millington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen

Bench: 14. Josh Cordoba 15. Broderick Wright 16. Paul Aiton 17. Taulima Tautai