The first Sunday showdown for Round 26 will take place at AAMI Park where the Storm will play the Knights in their final game of the year.
Melbourne are looking to give the sell-out home crowd, able to buy tickets for $1, a victory to atone for the season’s embarrassing indiscretions and it will be an emotion-charged game for the purple crew.
The Storm are ready to go out with a big bang and send off the likes of Inglis, White, Hoffman, Tolman and Finch in style, so Newcastle fans should be very very nervous about this one.
Melbourne are coming off a loss to the Tigers where they never really looked to feature, but will be revived and in a different frame of mind for this week.
The Knights also suffered defeat last week going down to the Dragons and are now out of the finals, giving them little to play for and facing a tough 80 minutes of footy against the Storm.
It’s been a long time between games for these two, with Melbourne winning by six back in Round 2, but expect a larger margin victory this time round.
Newcastle are at the longest odds we have seen all season for this one, Ladbrokes.com.au paying a juicy $8 for them to win while Storm are the short priced favourites at $1.08.
The Knights woes continue further when looking at the host of topline players they are without this week including skipper Kurt Gidley and with their armour weakened and against a Storm team that actually have something to play for, it looks a long night for Newcastle.
Watch for plays on the right from Newcastle as Akuila Uate looks to secure the Leading Tryscorer title, currently the $1.75 favourite to do so at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Adding further fuel to the Storm’s fire is that if they win $3,000 goes to charity and an extra $1,500 for every try, $1,000 for every goal kick and $500 for a field goal as the cheaters look to give a little back.
Footy Tip of the Match – Greg Inglis to score first for Melbourne at $4.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Storm $1.08 – Knights $8 Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
With Inglis playing his last match for the Storm before heading to Brisbane next year, expect a powerhouse performance from the star. We are tipping Greg Inglis to score the first try for Melbourne at $4.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Round 26 Storm Team:
1. Billy Slater 2. Dane Nielsen 3. Sika Manu 4. Greg Inglis 5. Justin O’Neill 6. Brett Finch 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jeff Lima 9. Cameron Smith 10. Brett White 11. Adam Blair 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe
Bench: 14. Kevin Proctor 15. Todd Lowrie 16. Aiden Tolman 17. Bryan Norrie
Round 26 Knights Team:
1. Wes Naiqama 2. Akula Uate 3. Junior Sa’u 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Scott Dureau 8. Ben Cross 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Antonio Kaufusi 11. Zeb Taia 12. Con Mika 13. Matt Hilder
Bench: 14. Cameron Ciraldo 15. Dan Tolar 16. Richie Fa’aoso 17. Mark Taufua
Reserve: 18. Joel Edwards