Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Melbourne Storm five-eighth Scott Hill looks to have overcome a back injury that saw him miss last week?s 20-point loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Hill missed the Dragons clash after straining his lower back at training last week, but the former Test lock is set to make a return for the Storm after today being named for Sunday?s clash with the Raiders at Canberra Stadium.
The return of Hill is a timely boost for the Storm as it looks to arrest a form slide that has seen it win one of its past five matches. After watching his teammates suffer their worst defeat of the season against the Dragons last week, Hill can?t wait for Sunday?s crucial match in Canberra.
?It?s not good when you don?t have any input and the team goes down as was the case last week,? Hill said.
?Had we played at home last week my back might have sorted itself out but obviously with the short week it wasn?t enough time to get myself right for the Dragons.
?Over the weekend I made sure I took it easy and had plenty of physio so it?s feeling pretty good now. I?ll just ease myself back into this week and come the weekend I should be fine.?
Despite missing his second match of the season through a back-related injury last week ? Hill was ruled out of the Storm?s Round 13 win over the Tigers in similar fashion earlier this year ? the 27-year-old is confident the injury won?t be ongoing.
?I don?t think it?s something that will be reoccurring, the last time I injured my back was different to this time,? Hill said.
?I don?t think I?ll have any problems getting over it, I didn?t last time and I don?t expect this to be different.?
Hill?s return to pivot sees Matt Geyer move back to the wing while Dustin Cooper has been named as 18th man.
Utility Andrew McFadden will face his former club for the first time in Storm colours this week after the 26-year-old was named for his second consecutive first-grade match of the season.
McFadden, who has endured a torrid run of groin and ankle injuries since crossing to the Storm at the end of 2002, made his season debut off the bench for the Storm against the Dragons last week.
Forward Kirk Reynoldson was not named today and will miss Sunday?s match after suffering a tear to his right calf muscle last Thursday.
The Storm has a perfect record against the Raiders over the past two seasons - four wins from as many games - including a narrow 22-18 at Olympic Park earlier this year.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY THE CANBERRA RAIDERS, SUNDAY AUGUST 15, AT CANBERRA STADIUM (2.30PM):
1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Geyer 3. Steven Bell 4. Ben MacDougall 5. Matt King 6. Scott Hill 7. Matt Orford 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Cameron Smith 10. Rodney Howe 11. David Kidwell 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. Dallas Johnson
14. Glen Turner 15. Ryan Hoffman 16. Robert Tanielu 17. Andrew McFadden 18. Dustin Cooper