There are just two games left to play out in September NRL footy finals for 2011 before ANZ Stadium comes to life Sunday week for the NRL Grand Final.
Yesterday we previewed tonight’s emotion-charged Broncos v Manly clash, which will be followed on Saturday night with another blockbuster in Sydney with New Zealand Warriors travelling to AAMI Park to play the Luxbet premiership favourites, Melbourne Storm.
Last week the Warriors bought their season back from the dead with an upset win over the Wests Tigers, two points saving them from NRL Premiership elimination.
They survived a catfight with the Tigers and now they face an even more imposing task of bringing Melbourne down in front of a proud purple sea of Storm supporters.
Melbourne are fresh off a week’s rest, which they earned in week one of the finals after defeating the Tinkler-owned Knights.
In the NRL betting markets at Luxbet the Storm are the understandable match favourites for this paying $1.40 while New Zealand are out to $3 to go through to the big one.
Match Odds: Melbourne $1.40 – $3 New Zealand at Luxbet
They may be the underdogs here, but you can bet that the Warriors will still be feeling the adrenaline of last week’s win and they are injury free so $3 may be a little generous for them.
Even more generous are the NRL Grand Final odds on the Warriors who are the $7 long-shots at Luxbet of the four teams still in premiership contention.
The NRL club stats favour the Storm in every way when they are compared with the Warriors this season.
For example Melbourne have missed 681 tackles over the season while New Zealand have missed 982, a figure that reveals the Kiwis really need to lift their defence if they want to be Storm-tight for Saturday night.
Match Stat: The Warriors have missed 301 more tackles than Melbourne this season
There is a late-mail tip, however, that the Storm are sweating on the availability of Beau Champion and Rory Kostjaysen who have injury concerns.
New Zealand also hold no fears playing Melbourne in Melbourne with a good record here including their Round 7 win by four points over the Storm at AAMI Park.
Yes the Kiwis can attack, yes they have claims, but will they win this? It looks unlikely if Melbourne play in the same fashion they have throughout the season.
The Storm are just too smart, too clinical and too consistent not to back for this.
Match Tip: Melbourne to Win by 1 – 6 points – $5.25 Luxbet
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NRL Finals Week 3 – Game 2 Details:
- Fixture: Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors
- Date: Saturday September 24, 2011
- Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- Time: 7:45pm (local)
- Odds: Melbourne $1.40 – New Zealand $3.00 – Bet now at Luxbet
Finals Week 3 Team Lists Game 2
Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park, 7:45pm.
Storm: Billy Slater, Matt Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Beau Champion, Anthony Quinn, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Sika Manu, Todd Lowrie. Interchange (from): Ryan Hinchcliffe, Rory Kostjaysen, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe, Troy Thompson, Sisa Waqa, Maurice Blair, Atelea Vea.
Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Lewis Brown, Krisnan Inu, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Aaron Heremaia, Jacob Lillyman, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Micheal Luck. Interchange (from): Lance Hohaia, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Steve Rapira