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NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Storm

The Canberra Raiders will travel to Wagga Wagga in round five to take on the Melbourne Storm at McDonalds Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Raiders will be looking to get back in the winners circle after a disappointing 25-6 loss against the Sea Eagles in Mudgee over the weekend. They will need to be at their best as the Storm come into this game having won three of their first four games this season.

Coach Ricky Stuart has named an unchanged side from last week, as has Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy. 

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Nick Meaney
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Semi Valemei
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Brad Schneider
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Prop for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Corey Harawira-Naera
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 19 Ryan Sutton
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Elliott Whitehead
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King

Interchange

  • Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Matt Frawley
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Adam Elliott
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Horsburgh
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tepai Moeroa

Reserves

  • Replacement for Raiders is number 18 Xavier Savage
    Replacement for Storm is number 21 Jayden Nikorima

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Last Time They Met

The Raiders fell short of an attempted comeback, suffering a 26-16 loss in round 22 last year at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Key Matchups

Tom Starling v Harry Grant

This matchup will see two of the best running hookers in the NRL go head to head at McDonalds Park, with both of them hoping to use this destructive asset to break the game open.

Tom Starling has been incredible to start the season, embracing the role of coming off the bench to make more of an impact amongst the tired forwards. Starling has averaged 63 running metres so far this year along with a 92 percent tackle efficiency.

On the other hand, Harry Grant is becoming one of the biggest stars in the NRL and his statistics over his two games in 2022 back that up. Grant is running 110 metres a match with a tackle efficiency of 91 percent and is averaging two try assists.

Both players are integral to their side’s success but come Saturday afternoon only one team will win and it may be off the back of one of these crafty players.

Jack Wighton v Cameron Munster

Calling these two players superstars would be an understatement. Wagga Wagga is going to be in for a treat when the two representative five-eighths go head to head in round five.

Jack Wighton has been in near career-best form to start 2022, with the former Dally M winner already showcasing his ability to break games open with his strength and tough mentality.

Wighton was the only try scorer for the green machine in their loss to Manly last weekend and will be hungry to get a win over the ever consistent Storm.

Cameron Munster has been one of those consistent performers for the Melbourne Storm over his nine year stint with them. So far this year, Munster has one try and two try assists highlighting just how dangerous he is in attack.

There’s one thing for certain about this match and that is come Saturday both these unstoppable talents will be putting on a show.

Joe Tapine v Nelson Asofa-Solomona

In the battle of the big front rowers, the two Wellington-born forwards will be wanting to lead the way for their sides through their brute force.

Joe Tapine is amongst the top ten forwards in the NRL this season for running metres, averaging an impressive 137 metres a game. Tapine has been equally as effective in defence and is the top five in the NRL for offloads, with nine so far this season.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been damaging in 2022, creating havoc for opposing sides with his strong runs and dangerous offloads. He currently sits in 12th spot in the NRL for offloads, and 15th in post contact metres with 234 metres. 

Both teams will have to be at their best defensively to stop these respective leaders of their forward packs because this game will be won through the forwards.

Head to Head

The Raiders and Storm have faced off 49 times and Melbourne have the upper hand, winning 35 of them to Canberra’s 14.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.