Melbourne Storm Vs Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park, Saturday 7.30pm
Minor premiership on the line in game of the season
This is set to be an explosive end to the 2016 regular season with the top two sides battling it out for the Minor Premiership. Both Melbourne and Cronulla have been the most consistent sides in the NRL and it’s fitting that these two get to decide who will take out the JJ Gilitan shield.
Melbourne had a shock defeat against in form Brisbane last week where they looked flat from start to finish. The Storm don’t often lose two in a row (especially not two home games in a row) however they face a committed and dangerous Sharks outfit that has rediscovered their hunger. The shire boys comprehensive drubbing of the Sydney Roosters has got them back on track and confidence is brimming throughout the squad.
This has match of the year labeled all over it. Hopefully it’s a huge crowd and the game justifies the prize that is on offer.
Last Meeting: Cronulla Sharks 14 Defeated Melbourne Storm 6 at Southern Cross Group Stadium: Round 4, 2016.
The Sharks defensive steel got them home against Melbourne earlier this year and they’ll need more of the same on Saturday to walk away with the two points and the Minor Premiership.
Before the Paul Gallen led Sharks win in round 4, the Storm had won 10 of the past 11 games against the Shire boys including winning every match at AAMI Park (6-0). The Sharks will need to buck history and have to improve on their 10 wins in 30 games against the Storm and just 4 wins in Melbourne.
Who to Watch: Suliasi Vunivalu… Do we need to add more?? Vunivalu has been phenomenal this season after breaking into the first grade set up. He has obviously benefited from the class players around him but the Fijian has also displayed some incredible skills including great pace and vision. His 21 tries in just 19 starts along with 19 line breaks show you the kind of season he has had. The leading try scorer should have a great battle with Valentine Holmes.
Talking of Valentine Holmes, he is our player to watch for this talented Sharks outfit. Holmes is gifted at the back and has all the skills to have great success at this level. He has been the Sharks most dependable outside back alongside Ben Barba and is lethal finisher. He will attempt to break David Peachey’s try scoring record of 21 tries set in 1999. If the Sharks are to win, the Love Detective (Holmes) needs to play out of his skin.
The favourite: Storm are favourites in this mouth watering clash
My tip: this is going to be a cracking contest folks. Both these sides have quality all over the park and should be plenty of points on offer. I saw enough last week from Cronulla to prove to me that they can win the premiership. The Storm looked tired and fatigued last week and if they start like they did against Brisbane last week then they are in trouble.
Sharks by 1