This is the game of the Weekend. It matches up an Eels side that have the potential to rip your heart out and a Table Topping Storm outfit that has 6 starters out on Origin duty, but a bevvy of teenage talent that has over the past month shown the depth of this Victorian Franchise.
What is not to like about the Storm this season. They keep consistently performing at level beyond their competition despite absences of their "Worlds Best" Players. Who would of thought that without Smith, Cronk, Chambers, Slater, Glasby. Melbourne could go to Golden point with the likes of the Cowboys and Roosters in the first 2 Origin affected rounds?
Once again the Storm will be without the a-fore mentioned stars of the NRL, but their is a difference to this side tonight, No Cameron Munster. The Billy Slater understudy has rightfully earned a call up for Origin 3 and his absence will be noticeable for this match. The inclusion of Nate Myles for his first game in the Storm colours and the passing of a fitness test for Bromwich will add to the forwards, but the loss of Munster is huge, and i'm unsure that Melbourne can continue on from the crushing 12-42 victory away in Brisbane last start. The young shoulders that now fill the void may not have the experience to combat a Parramatta side of seasoned pro's.
The Eels have been disappointing to date IMO. They have lacked consistency and are once again plagued by handling errors with their ball carriers. They have showcased the wonderful talent of Clint Gutherson but sub par performances from Norman, Radradra, and Edwards have not helped them give confidence of a top 8 spot. This game has Eels written all over it for me. They still have the tendency to tank at the 60 minute mark, but I think this Storm side are capable of it too tonight. My point in case are the 2 mentioned rounds where the Storm played the Cowboys and Roosters.
At AAMI park Melbourne let the Thurtonless Cowboys back in the game with a converted try on full time forcing Golden point. They were good enough to take the Field goal and the win on that occasion but weren't up to it against Sydney, where they lost in golden point after leading 18-6 with 60 minutes gone. It is apparent that the Storm without its sage wizards do not know how to win going down the back stretch and this will play into the Eels hands, I think.
I'm looking for a big game from Jennings and Radradra to get Parra on the front foot. They should easily wear down the Melbourne backline and with Gutherson in support these 3 should get on the scoresheet.
Melbourne too have some strike, with Ado-Carr's speed on the flank and Vunivalu's incredible aerial abilities they should also considered as try scorers in combinations.
I am taking 1 market for this match.
1) Paramatta to win by a Margin of 11-15 points @ 8-00
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