Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Melbourne Storm will welcome back Test lock Scott Hill for this Sunday?s clash with Parramatta but not in his customary role of five-eighth.
Since moving to pivot seven weeks ago Matt Geyer has been a standout for the Storm and coach Craig Bellamy has rewarded the former NSW winger by keeping him at five-eighth and bringing Hill into lock.
This week?s match ? which could decide the finals fate of both sides - will be Hill?s eighth for the season and his first since injuring his right shoulder against the Bulldogs in round 15.
With Hill?s availability this week Storm coach Craig Bellamy faced the prospect of upsetting a halves combination that has worked so well for Melbourne in recent weeks ? the 1999 premiers have won five of their past seven games without Hill.
But the 26-year-old has played the majority of his representative football for NSW and Australia as a lock/forward and is happy to fill that position while Geyer remains at five-eighth.
?Lock is probably my preferred position anyway and the way Matt (Geyer) has performed over the last seven weeks has been tremendous,? Hill explained.
?So I can?t see why we wouldn?t let him and Matty Orford continue what they?ve been doing and I can just add a bit of input from lock.?
Despite missing last week?s loss to the Bulldogs Hill is well aware of the disappointment that has followed the club?s biggest loss of the season.
?Everyone is disappointed in the performance last week and we?ll be doing everything we can to erase the memory of the Bulldogs match and look for a win this week,? Hill added.
Hill is also keen to notch up his first home win of the year having played two matches at Olympic Park this season ? against the Roosters and the Bulldogs - both of which were losses.
?I?ve only played two or three games at home this year and I don?t think I?ve won one yet so I?m really looking forward to this week,? Hill said.
?But as much as anything else I want to get some match fitness up before the semi finals.?
Queensland rake Cameron Smith will also reclaim his position as hooker this week after serving a one-match suspension for a dangerous throw. Nathan Friend retains his place but has been moved from the run-on side to the bench.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY PARRAMATTA, THIS SUNDAY AT OLYMPIC PARK, 3.00PM
1. Billy Slater 2. Fifita Moala 3. Steven Bell 4. David Kidwell 5. Marcus Bai 6. Matt Geyer 7. Matt Orford 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Cameron Smith 10. Kirk Reynoldson 11. Peter Robinson 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. Scott Hill BENCH 14. Danny Williams 15. Ryan Hoffman 16. Nathan Friend 17. Glen Turner 18. Antonio Kaufusi