Melbourne v Brisbane | Friday, August 26, 7.50pm (AEDT), AAMI Park
Melbourne can sew up the minor premiership on home soil and they too, would feel confident after inflicting Brisbane’s heaviest ever defeat at Suncorp during the Origin period.
While the old guard of Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk continue to set the benchmark, it has been the emergence of a new group of players, most notably Tohu Harris, Jordan McLean and Cameron Munsterwho have really helped the Storm return to the summit this season.
Brisbane are slowly building towards the finals and it’s surely no coincidence that their turnaround has been sparked by a greater intensity in defence.
Both teams have the luxury of being unchanged.
Melbourne have an extremely strong recent record over the Broncos having won 10 of the past 11 fixtures between these two competition heavyweights.
Last time they met: Rd 17 – Brisbane 6-48 Melbourne
Line tip: Brisbane +2.5
Storm: 1 Cameron Munster 2 Suliasi Vunivalu 3 William Chambers 4 Ryan Morgan 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith (c) 10 Tim Glasby 11 Kenneth Bromwich 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14 Felise Kaufusi 15 Christian Welch 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17 Ben Hampton.
Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd 2 Corey Oates 3 Thomas Opacic 4 James Roberts 5 Jordan Kahu 6 Anthony Milford 7 Ben Hunt 8 Josh McGuire 9 Andrew McCullough 10 Adam Blair 11 Sam Thaiday 12 Matthew Gillett 13 Corey Parker. Interchange: 14 Jarrod Wallace 15 Tevita Pangai 16 Jai Arrow 17 Alex Glenn.