Storm v Eels, Magic Round Match Preview

The Parramatta Eels take on the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane in the NRL’s Magic Round on Saturday 11 May in Round Nine of the competition.

Coming off a 32-18 victory over the Dragons last week, Arthur has made one change to his seventeen for the round nine clash with forward Tim Mannah named to return on the bench shifting Kane Evans back to the reserves.

Ray Stone, Will Smith and George Jennings have also been named on the reserves.

For the opposition, Storm Head Coach Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged 21-man squad to face the Blue & Gold.

Bellamy has stuck with the same starting side that suffered a 20-18 defeat to the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks last week, however Brandon Smith does return from a calf injury on the bench with Patrick Kaufusi shifting back to the reserves.

On form, the Eels are coming off last week’s victory whilst the Storm enter the clash off a loss. The Blue & Gold showed some magical moments in their strong second half showing however they will want to improve on their start to the game which saw them trail by 14 points last week.

The Storm don’t often relinquish leads and the Eels will want to make sure they meet the Storm’s energy and early aggression.

The Eels are also searching for back to back wins for the first time since the opening two rounds whilst the Storm will be looking to return to the winners circle and make up for their performances over the past month.

Historically, the Storm hold a head to head advantage with 20 wins from 33 games however this is the first time the sides have met at Suncorp Stadium.

In their last clash, the Storm came away 20-4 victors at AAMI Park in 2018 and have claimed 6 wins from their last 8 encounters.

There are a few key match ups in this clash with the young Reed Mahoney coming up against the experienced Cameron Smith, halves pairing of Jaeman Salmon and Mitch Moses coming up against Cameron Munster and Brodie Croft whilst the powerful wingers of Maika Sivo and Blake Ferguson come up against the Storm flyers of Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr.

Fullback Clint Gutherson leads the NRL in line break assists (9) whilst Sivo is equal forth in line breaks (7). Gutherson is also first in runs (151) and run metres (1,520) whilst Storm fullback Jahrome Hughes is the clear leader in kick return metres with 640m.

The match will be a memorable one for both Eels winger Blake Ferguson and Storm centre Will Chambers who will both play their 200th NRL game.

Kick off is at 7:35pm.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Jahrome Hughes
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Will Chambers
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
  • Centre for Storm is number 21 Curtis Scott
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Brad Takairangi
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Jaeman Salmon
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Brodie Croft
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Daniel Alvaro
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
    Hooker for Eels is number 14 Peni Terepo
  • Prop for Storm is number 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Marata Niukore
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Tepai Moeroa

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
    Interchange for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
    Interchange for Eels is number 15 Tim Mannah
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Manu Ma'u