Gold Coast Titans v Melbourne Storm
Saturday, 25 August, 5:30pm
Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
The Melbourne Storm jumped back up to top spot on the ladder with a 20-4 win against Parramatta in round 23. The Storm suffered a number of notable injuries in the match, with Suliasi Vunivalu, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Brandon Smith all out of Saturday’s match through injury. Will Chambers has been suspended, but Cameron Smith is expected to play after missing the second half of last week’s game. The Titans came back from a 16-point first half deficit to post an improbable 42-34 win against Manly at Lottoland last Friday night.
Stats That Matter
- The Titans have won just six of their 18 matches against the Storm since they came into the competition in 2007.
- Gold Coast commits the second-most errors (255) in the competition, closely followed by the Storm (242), who commit the third-most.
- The total match points have gone over in six of the past seven meetings between these two sides.
- Titans halfback Ash Taylor is tied with North Quee-nsland’s Johnathan Thurston for the most try assists in the National Rugby League this season, with 22.
- Melbourne has received the most penalties of any team this season (200), while the Titans concede the third-most penalties (203).
The Wolf knows that the Storm are missing a number of key players and their attack will suffer without the edge combination of Suliasi Vunivalu and Will Chambers. The Titans are hardly a defensive powerhouse and the Storm will make them earn their points, so a tough, workmanlike performance is to be expected from Melbourne. Gold Coast will show glimpses, as they have all season, but it’s hard to back against a club like the Storm who are shaping for another finals campaign.
How It Shapes Up
Melbourne by 8.
Best: Melbourne 1-12 ($2.90)
Value: Melbourne 1-12/Over 40.5 ($5.20)
First Tryscorer: Curtis Scott ($19)