Match Previews

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Storm game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 15: Storm v Wests

Whenever Wests seem to be building momentum, they put in a performance that takes them back to square one.

With Adam Doueihi out this weekend and the Storm naming a strong line up, it is hard to foresee anything other than a big Storm win here.

Once again last weekend the Storm managed to withhold an early onslaught and then at the 20 minute mark, they start to physically dominate the ruck and captilisise on their opponent’s mistakes.

While new Tiger’s recruit Maumalolo has great go forward for a winger and is a very accomplished finisher, he is slow off the mark and I think Coach Bellamy will target a lot of his attack that way.

Mbye is back at 6 and Roberts is back in the centres, and both of those changes do not instil me with confidence. After being in camp up at the Sunshine Coast for the past month, the Storm look to be in a groove and at the top of their game.

Wests have a tendency to lift after a heavy defeat, so I do think Wests will start this game strongly and potentially keep it competitive, but the Storm should be too good and I think the line is about right here.

Predicted Score Storm 36 – Wests 10

NRL Round 14: Warriors v Storm

Welch, K Brom and Big Nelson (suspended) are all out of this game, meaning the Storm will be drawing on fringe forwards like Pene, Eisenhuth, Lewis or Loiero to play a lot of minutes.

Usually this would not be an issue for the Storm, they seem to always have guys capable of getting the job done, however they are up against a very strong Warriors pack.

Fonua-Blake makes his return and that is a big inclusion, but so is Josh Curran… who is having a breakout year. When you throw in the rest of this big Warriors forward pack, then I can see them more than matching the Storm in the middle.

With Munster and Grant backing up, the Storm have a very strong looking spine, however an injury to George Jennings will further disrupt their back line.

In total, the Storm are missing a lot of key players and they also have some core guys backing up from a gruelling Origin played only 5 days ago, so there is a chance Munster, Grant and Kaufusi in particular, are below their best.

While the Warriors will miss the prodigious Reece Walsh in attack, it is still a strong looking line-up that will be competitive at their new home in the Central Coast.

With a home date announced for the Warriors return to NZ later in the season, I am expecting a spirited Warriors to take the Storm all the way.

But because the Storm have been so costly for me this year, I am not willing to have more than one Unit at the line.

Predicted Score Storm 24 – Warriors 14

NRL Round 13: Storm v Titans

Despite losing their home ground advantage and missing Addo-Carr, Welch, Munster, Papenhuyzen, Grant and Kaufusi, the Storm still head into this one at -21.5 with most bookies.

They have been without Munster, Papenhuyzen and Grant for an extended period, and as a result Brandon Smith and Nico Hynes have been playing amazing.

And while the loss of Welch and Kaufusi hurts their forwards depth, guys like Finucane, Nelson and the Bromwich brothers are playing great footy.

Last weekend they withstood an early onslaught from the Broncos and then when they got some field position, their attack was far too crisp. This week, up against a Titans team that have had their defence pulled apart on multiple occasions this year, I can see why the line is so big.

Despite their inconsistent form, the Titans also head into this without their best players due to Origin duty (Tino, Fifita, Fotuaika and Brimson). Throw in an injury to dynamic winger Corey Thompson, and the Titans have had to draw on QLD Cup players like Jayden Campbell.

One of the reasons I tipped Tweed to win the QLD Cup was because of how good Jayden Campbell was, and so far he has been the best player in the QLD Cup on my player ratings. Also coming from Tweed for this game will be Whibread and Vuna, who have been strong in the middle all year.

Marzhew is also tipped to be a late inclusion, after dominating in the NSW and QLC cup for years, his NRL debut is long overdue.

While the Titans will be understrength, the promotion of guys from the QLD Cup will add some enthusiasm to a team that was very flat last weekend.

On my ratings, it is hard to know how well these guys from the QLD Cup will go, but if I had to take someone here I would take the Titans to cover the line.

But with so much uncertainty and my model suggesting the Storm should win comfortably, this is one of those high variance games I am going to stay away from.

Predicted score Storm 30 – Titans 10

NRL Round 12: Broncos v Storm

The Broncos win over the Roosters last week was the club’s greatest win in recent memory. While the Roosters were not at their best and the game was marred by the effect of sin bins, the Broncos played their best footy in a long time.

However, when the Broncos have won games this year (i.e. against the Titans and the Bulldogs), they have struggled to back it up next week with a strong performance.

This weekend, with only a 5 day turnaround and up against a Storm outfit that loves playing at Suncorp and has totally dominated the Broncos over the last decade, the Broncos will have to lift really lift if they are to go back to back.

Making matters worse for the Broncos, is the fact that two of their most competitive guys are missing – Gamble and Lodge. Gamble might not be the most skilful have in the NRL, but his competitiveness and scrappiness is something the Broncos have been sorely missing.

And while Lodge has many detractors for his off-field behaviour, he is one of the best props in the game based on his 2021 form. The Broncos squad is much weaker as a result of these guys missing.

As for the Storm, while they are still without Munster, Grant, Papenhuyzen and K Bromwich, they do look set to welcome back J Hughes.

And as we painfully saw against the Raiders, the Storm still possess plenty of power in the middle and enough class out wide to exploit weak defenders.

With the Broncos recalling Milford, I am worried that they will be able to successfully target him on the edges.

And although the Broncos were horrible against the Eels last time they played at home, I think the Broncos have generally been competitive in their home games this year.

While the Storm demolished the Raiders in the second half, I think that had more to do with the Raiders rolling over and giving in due to huge issues at the club.

For all the drama in recent years, the Broncos have been far more resilient in 2021 and with the Storm missing so many attacking strike weapons, I would be surprised to see the Storm blow the Broncos off the park at Suncorp.

Predicted score Storm 26 – Broncos 12

NRL Round 9: Rabbitohs v Storm

Without Reynolds, Mitchell, Murray, Graham, and Mansour, the Bunnies depth will really be tested this weekend.

While Marshall to 7, Walker to 6 and Johnston to 1, and Arrow to 13, is a pretty good work-around, the real danger for Souths will be out wide and at the back.

Filling in fullback is extremely difficult and I think Johnson has struggled to do it in the past. So it is no surprise to me that Hawkins has been called in to partner Marshall in halves and Walker shifted back to 1. I am not happy about this change, as Johnston at 1 was a real weak link in my view and something Munster would have targeted with big bombs.

The Storm showed that when the turn it on, they can tear out of position players to pieces. Wilton and Chambers had no answers out wide last weekend and Souths could struggle with the likes of Marsters, Milne and Burns all coming out of the NSW Cup to up against the Premiers. (UPDATE: Milne has dropped out of the squad due to the reshuffle discussed above).

While Marsters had played all year in the NSW Cup, Burns has played only 1, so he is going to be challenged by the speed the Storm play the game.

On the plus side Tatola will return, while Su’a played his best game in a long time last week. Souths forwards look strong and that is the reason this one is not a 2 Unit play.

As for the Storm, with Papenhuyzen rested again this weekend and given an extra week to get over his injury, Nicho Hynes will be at the back. But besides that, this is a full strength Storm line up that is in great form.

Munster, Grant, B Smith and Hughes should be able to craft enough points against this depleted Souths line up and I think the Storm should run away with this one.

Predicted Score Storm 24 – Souths 12

Steve Green is back with NRL Tips in 2021. With all of Steve's best bets and full previews of every NRL game, it's the only way to bet the NRL. Join now to start beating the bookies!


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