PREVIEW 🔍 Robert Crosby looks at what to expect in Sunday night's second State of Origin clash.
9 hours ago
Melbourne Storm will welcome back club stalwarts Robbie Kearns and Danny Williams for Saturday night?s clash with Wests Tigers at Olympic Park (7.30pm).
Williams will return after serving a one-week suspension for striking while the Storm will sweat on Kearns? availability following game two of State of Origin on Wednesday night.
With over 400 first grade games between them Williams and Kearns will add valuable experience as Melbourne aims to avoid slipping out of the top eight for the first time this year.
?I actually thought the boys played quite well last week but we just couldn?t maintain it in the last 20 minutes of the match,? Williams said of the 14-point loss to the Bulldogs last Sunday.
?It was pretty tough watching from the sidelines but hopefully if ?Kearnsey? pulls up well from Origin this week we can both get back in there and turn things around against the Tigers.
?They (Wests) will be pumped up after a big win over the Roosters last week so we won?t be underestimating them at all.?
With Scott Hill missing this week with a shoulder injury versatile winger Matt Geyer will again fill the role of five-eighth. This will be the seventh occasion Geyer has started at five-eighth this year.
Former Redcliffe Dolphin Dustin Cooper will line up for his first start with Melbourne after missing last week?s loss to the Bulldogs courtesy of a corked thigh.
Cooper played 15 minutes in the Storm?s emphatic win over Penrith two weeks ago and will start in the centres to cover the loss of Geyer to five-eighth.
Should Kearns play, Kirk Reynoldson will accompany him in the front-row.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY WESTS TIGERS, THIS SATURDAY AT OLYMPIC PARK, 7.30PM
1. Billy Slater 2. Semi Tadulala 3. Steven Bell 4. Dustin Cooper 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. Dallas Johnson
Bench, 14. Danny Williams 15. David Kidwell 16. Mitchell Sargent 17. G. Turner 18. Ryan Hoffman *One to be omitted
IN: Robbie Kearns, Danny Williams OUT: Scott Hill (inj.)
Meanwhile the entire Storm squad will travel to Ballarat tomorrow (June 25) to conduct a full training session and a junior clinic as part of the regional promotion the club has embarked on this season.
The round 19 match against the Brisbane Broncos at Olympic Park will be devoted to the City of Ballarat as the Storm looks to spread its supporter base into the regional centres of Victoria.
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK: Tuesday: 2pm ? Gosch?s Paddock Wednesday: 3.30pm ? City Oval, Ballarat Friday: 5.30pm ? Olympic Park