TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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Melbourne Storm winger Matt Geyer believes he and his teammates will need to be watchful of North Queensland?s Test rejects this Saturday night, when the Storm hosts the Cowboys at Olympic Park (7.30pm).
Cowboys winger Matt Sing (Australia), along with prop Paul Rauhihi (New Zealand), were unlucky to miss out on selection for Friday night?s Anzac Test and will be out to prove a point, according to Geyer.
?They have a few players that probably should have been picked in the Test teams but missed out - Matty Sing and Paul Rauhihi are two that come to mind,? said Geyer, who will make his return from a medial ligament injury this week.
?Last year when we went to North Queensland Matty Sing tore us apart scoring a hat-trick and Rauhihi did a number on us down here at Olympic Park later in the season, so we know what they?re capable of.?
But the Cowboys will be coming up against a Melbourne side that is gunning for its 15th consecutive victory under lights and its tenth consecutive night victory at Olympic Park.
North Queensland is also one of a handful of clubs in the NRL that is yet to record a win at Olympic Park ? in three attempts they are winless, including a 16-22 loss last year.
But despite the stats heavily favouring the home side and the fact that the Cowboys are languishing in 12th place on the NRL ladder with just one win for the year, Geyer believes North Queensland are running into some strong form.
?We?ve got a lot to focus on this week because I actually think that although they started the season poorly the Cowboys have began to hit some form of late,? the former NSW winger added.
?A few weeks ago they lost by a point to Canberra who are known as being pretty good travellers, they beat Cronulla easily and then they were unlucky to lose by seven points to the Broncos after being right in the game until the last minute.
?They?ve just had a slow start to the season and because they?ve only got the one win from five games everybody thinks they are playing badly but I think they?re actually playing pretty well.?
Saturday night?s match will also mark the first time former Storm front-rower Mitchell Sargent lines up against his old club. Sargent joined the Cowboys at the end of last season after salary cap constraints meant the Storm was unable to retain the young prop?s services.
Meanwhile Melbourne?s preparations have taken on a slightly different look this week with assistant coaches Peter Sharp and Dean Lance guiding the team in Craig Bellamy?s absence. But Sharp says there has been very little change to the team?s build up while Bellamy is in camp with the Australian side.
?It is very much business as usual this week as far as Dean and I are concerned, our principles and philosophies are very similar to Craig?s and the structure of the week has been very similar,? the former Manly head coach explained.
?Obviously Craig?s spent a lot of time with (Australian coach) Wayne Bennet at the Broncos, but it?s a different environment with the Australian team this week and it?s a marvellous opportunity for him and I know he?s enjoying the experience.?