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Vodafone Warriors hunting for more homecoming joy

After extending their winless streak to four with defeat at the hands of the Rabbitohs last week the Storm head to New Zealand under the pump, while the Vodafone Warriors will be reeling from the one that got away against the Raiders last week.

Despite their current slump the Storm remain just two points adrift of the top four and have it all to play for, while the Vodafone Warriors will be motivated to give their home fans something to cheer about in their second game at Mount Smart Stadium this year. 

The last time they met on Anzac Day the Storm scored 10 tries in the second half to run out 70-10 winners, and the Vodafone Warriors haven't beaten Melbourne since 2015.

Of main concern for interim coach Stacey Jones will be his side's recent tendency to drop off in the second half, while the usually defensively-strong Storm have averaged 24 points against them in their last six games. 

The Rundown

Team news

Vodafone Warriors: Stacey Jones has opted for another spine reshuffle, with Reece Walsh returning to fullback after playing just 14 minutes off the interchange last week. Chanel Harris-Tavita reverts to five-eighth and Daejarn Asi drops out of the 17. Jesse Arthars is out with a thigh strain so Marcelo Montoya moves from the wing to centre and Ed Kosi returns to the side on the flank. Prop Jackson Frei is named on the bench for his first game since his debut against the Bulldogs almost a year ago.

Storm: Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged starting 13. Jordan Grant is the new face on the bench in place of Tom Eisenhuth, who goes to the reserves.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Reece Walsh
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Dean Ieremia
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Marcelo Montoya
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Grant Anderson
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun Johnson
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-Blake
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Tohu Harris
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Euan Aitken
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Josh Curran
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Jazz Tevaga
    Lock for Storm is number 15 Tui Kamikamica

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Freddy Lussick
    Interchange for Storm is number 13 Josh King
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Eliesa Katoa
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Jackson Frei
    Interchange for Storm is number 21 Tom Eisenhuth

Reserves

  • Replacement for Warriors is number 20 Daejarn Asi
    Replacement for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

Last updated:

Key match-up

Shaun Johnson v Jahrome Hughes: It shapes as an early audition for the end-of-year World Cup between the former Kiwi No 7 and the man who took his job in the mid-year Test. Johnson has been a consistent presence for the Vodafone Warriors despite having four different halves partners this year, while Hughes continues to provide attacking spark for his struggling side. Johnson's short kicking game has been on point in 2022, with 15 forced dropouts, while Hughes has run for over 100 metres in each of his last two games. 

Stat Attack

Both sides are guilty of performing for only 40 minutes in games of late. For the Vodafone Warriors the second half is the issue, and in the last fortnight they've been outscored 36-10 in the second period. Melbourne meanwhile is struggling to get out of the gates and hasn't enjoyed a halftime lead since round 12.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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