Saturday’s second NRL 2016 Finals Week 1 match is between Melbourne Storm and Nth Queensland Cowboys. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:35 local time with the game to be played at AAMI Park. The home team Melbourne Storm are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Melbourne Storm and Nth Queensland Cowboys.
When: 19:35 | Saturday 10/09/2016
Where: AAMI Park
Tip: Melbourne Storm at $1.74
Value Tip: First Try Scorer:Cheyse Blair at $18.00
Storm: 1 Cameron Munster 2 Suliasi Vunivalu 3 William Chambers 4 Cheyse Blair 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith 10 Tim Glasby 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane Interchange: 14 Kenneth Bromwich 15 Christian Welch 16 Jordan McLean 17 Ben Hampton.
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote 2 Kyle Feldt 3 Justin O’Neill 4 Kane Linnett 5 Antonio Winterstein 6 Michael Morgan 7 Johnathan Thurston 8 Matt Scott 9 Jake Granville 10 James Tamou 11 Gavin Cooper 12 Ethan Lowe 13 Jason Taumalolo Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn 15 Coen Hess 16 Scott Bolton 17 Ben Hannant.
Melbourne have outgunned Cronulla 26-6 to win the NRL minor premiership and set up a qualifying final against defending premiers North Queensland.
With the two top teams battling for the JJ Giltinan Shield on Saturday night at AAMI Park, the clinical Storm steamrolled the Sharks to win the trophy for the first time since 2011.
On the back of the loss, the Sharks could fall to third, with Canberra a chance to leapfrog them with a win on Sunday over the Wests Tigers. Regardless of the outcome of the Leichhardt Oval clash, the teams will meet next weekend in the second qualifying final.
The Cowboys earlier cemented fourth spot and a meeting with the Storm at AAMI Park with a 32-16 win over Gold Coast.
While centre Cheyse Blair scored a try in each half, Melbourne’s stoic defence was key to their victory, repelling the Sharks’ attacking threats to keep them tryless until the 69th minute.
Rugby-bound winger Marika Koroibete showed what a loss he would be to the NRL with some scintillating runs and bone-crunching defence.
Centre Will Chambers, who missed three months with a fractured foot, also looked back to his best, while the Storm pack gave the Sharks no room to move.
Cronulla, aiming for their first minor premiership since 1999, threw everything at Melbourne but never really looked like they were in the hunt.
They suffered a setback in the first half losing two forwards in Chris Heighington (concussion) and Joseph Paulo (knee) as the Storm went up 10-2 at the break.
The Sharks could have further worries with a late hit by hooker Michael Ennis taking out Storm five-eighth Blake Green as he put Blair through for his first try.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change