Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans Saturday, May 12, 5:30pm (AEST) Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Storm had their three-match winning streak halted in a big way by the Dragons last week and will be looking to make a statement against the struggling Titans. Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has had enough and has made mass changes, headlined by the debut of AJ Brimson. Workhorse Jai Arrow is out with a rib injury in a massive blow to the Titans’ chances of causing an upset.
FormMelbourne are down to fourth on the ladder following their 32-14 loss to St George Illawarra. That was just the second time since 2015 that the Storm have conceded 30-plus points. The Storm had won three straight going into the game. The Storm rank second in scoring and fourth in defence. Gold Coast are down to 13th on the ladder with the worst defence and the 10th ranked attack. The Titans have now dropped four straight and have conceded 26 or more points in three of those. Gold Coast are 0-4 against Top 8 teams this year.
Key MatchupCameron Munster v AJ Brimson: Munster has been brilliant for the Storm after a slow start to the season in the No.6 jersey. He has six try assists in the past five rounds and has been crucial in taking the pressure off halves partner, Ryley Jacks. It doesn’t get much tougher than a debut against the Melbourne, but that is what AJ Brimson is facing. He has deserved the call-up after strong form for Tweed Heads in Queensland Cup. Brimson has mainly been playing fullback for Tweed, so it will be interesting to see how he makes the transition into the halves alongside Ash Taylor.
Stats That Matter– Melbourne are 5-4 ATS with a 6-3 over record and have gone over in four straight. – Gold Coast are 4-5 ATS with a 6-3 over record. – The Storm have won 9 of the last 12 against the Titans though when these teams met here last year Gold Coast pulled off a famous 38-36 win. – The teams have played in seven straight that have topped 38 points with four of those topping 50. – Since 2013, Melbourne are 7-1 with a 6-2 ATS record at Suncorp while Gold Coast are 2-5 with a 3-4 ATS number. – The Storm have covered 9 of their last 13 after conceding 24 or more points. – The over is 17-10 when a double digit favourite conceded 30 the start prior. – Since 2015, Melbourne are 11-7 ATS as a double digit favourite while they are 3-6 ATS when favoured by more than two converted tries. – The Titans are 3-19 with a 10-12 ATS record as a double digit outsider. – The over is 13-10 after the Titans have conceded 32 or more. – The under is 42-27 when a double digit underdog scored 18 or more. – The Storm have covered 10 of their last 12 night games, including 7 of 8 when favoured by more than a converted try.
Final ThoughtsIt all looks like one way traffic here! The Storm have won 9 of the last 12 against the Titans, and usually bounce back after a big loss. They have covered 9 of their last 13 after conceding 24 or more points. This could be over by halftime if the Titans are slow out of the blocks.
How It’s Shaping UpMelbourne by 18
Recommended BetsBest: Melbourne -14.5 ($1.91) Value: Melbourne 13+ & Over 45.5 ($2.75) First Tryscorer: Billy Slater ($9)