As the Canberra Raiders' season begins to enter must-win territory they head down to AAMI Park on Saturday night to face the Melbourne Storm.
The Raiders are coming off a controversial 28-24 loss to the Cronulla Sharks where their second-half comeback fell just short with a number of refereeing errors costing the Raiders.
The Melbourne Storm defeated the New Zealand Warriors 12-6 last week in a low-scoring contest at Mt Smart Stadium.
Joe Tapine returns to the second row for the Raiders, pushing Sia Soliola to the bench and Jack Murchie out of the 17, while Michael Oldfield shifts to the wing with Nick Cotric moving to centre.
Dale Finucane starts at lock for the Storm with Kenny Bromwich dropping to the bench.
Last Time: The Melbourne Storm ran out comfortable winners when these two met in Round 26 last year.
They raced to a 20-0 lead within the first 20 minutes before finishing with a 32-6 win.
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Billy SlaterFullback for Raiders is number 1 Brad Abbey
Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi VunivaluWinger for Raiders is number 3 Nick Cotric
Centre for Storm is number 3 Will ChambersCentre for Raiders is number 4 Joseph Leilua
Centre for Storm is number 4 Curtis ScottCentre for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-CarrWinger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron MunsterFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Blake Austin
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Sam Williams
Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Raiders is number 10 Junior Paulo
Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron SmithHooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh Hodgson
Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaProp for Raiders is number 15 Luke Bateman
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Storm is number 17 Joe Stimson2nd Row for Raiders is number 17 Iosia Soliola
Lock for Storm is number 14 Kenneath BromwichLock for Raiders is number 13 Josh Papalii
Interchange for Storm is number 13 Dale FinucaneInterchange for Raiders is number 8 Dunamis Lui
Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tim GlasbyInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Liam Knight
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Christian WelchInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Siliva Havili
Interchange for Storm is number 20 Cheyse BlairInterchange for Raiders is number 18 Jack Murchie
- Referee: Adam Gee
- Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Touch Judge: Rohan Best
- Video Referee: Ben Galea
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Josh Hodgson vs Cameron Smith
This Saturday we will see two of the best hookers in the game battle it out at AAMI Park. Cameron Smith is considered by many to be one of the best players of all time and even though he's now retired from representative football his club form has been as good as ever, and he's a chance of securing his third Dally M medal this year.
Josh Hodgson has missed most of the season due to injury but since his return he's shown just how good a player he is. Like Smith, he's great with the ball in hand, laying on four try assists in the five games he's played this year, as well as being a great game manager. Both teams are a different side with their inspirational hooker on the field and these two captains will be looking to guide their team around the park on Saturday night and lift them to a victory.
Junior Paulo vs Nelson Asofa-Solomona
The Raiders and the Storm both possess huge forward packs and that's personified by the battle between Junior Paulo and Nelson Asofa-Solomona. These two starting props will be looking to use their big frames to lay a platform that their side can build off.
Asofa-Solomona has already broken more than 50 tackles and run for over 700 post-contact metres this season. He's proven himself as a man who is difficult to defend against and the Raiders will need to stop him if they are any chance of upsetting the Storm this weekend.
Paulo has only played 13 games this year but in the matches he has played he's been huge for the Green Machine. He is one of the Raiders' hardest runners and he creates creating plenty of second phase play with 21 offloads so far this year. Both Paulo and Asofa-Solomona average 98 running metres per game and with the last meeting between the Storm and the Raiders decided in the first 20 minutes, the starting props have huge role to play on Saturday night.
Joey Leilua vs Will Chambers
Joey Leilua has been great again this season and already has nine tries to his name to go along with his 33 offloads. He's so dangerous with the ball and was close to Canberra's best last week, crossing for his third double of the season and laying on a try assist for Brad Abbey. This weekend he comes up against an incumbent Kangaroos and Queensland centre in Will Chambers.
Chambers is one of the best defensive centres in the NRL and has made 202 tackles in just the 13 matches he has played for the Storm this season. He's also averaged close to 100 running metres per game and loves to put in attacking kick close to the line. Watching these two fiery centres battling it out will be one of the highlights of Saturday's clash.
"If you look at it as six games, and you've got to win them all, it's a daunting set of fixtures, but every week is a new game and we've just got to win that game rather than worry about the following weeks." -Sam Williams
Head to head: Unfortunately for the Raiders it's been one-way traffic in the past between these two.
Canberra have won just 11 of the previous 40 clashes and at 27.5% that's their worst winning percentage against any NRL opponent. To make matters worse, the Raiders have beaten the Storm in Melbourne just four times from 20 attempts.