Pre Match
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5:30pm Sat June 15, 2024
Round 15 - Go Media Stadium, Penrose / Aotearoa

Round 15: Warriors v Storm preview

The Storm travel across the ditch looking to keep their first-place spot, whilst the Warriors are looking to go back-to-back-to-back-to-back in wins for the first time this year.  

The Warriors defeated the Cowboys away from home last weekend in clinical fashion, with the final score being 42-12. This follows an extended stint of many key players missing from the squad who are slowly making their return. After a rough start to the season the Warriors currently sit in 10th place with six wins, six losses, one draw and one bye. 

Shaun Johnson finally makes his return for the Warriors, after suffering a pec injury during Round 10. This shifts Te Maire Martin back into five-eighth position, and Chanel Harris-Tavita drops to the bench at expense of Freddy Lussick. Suffering a hamstring strain also in Round 10, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is named among the extended squad but is unlikely to play until Round 16. 

Down in Melbourne, the Storm gained their ninth win on the season, managing to down the Knights in a 36-38 battle, however they weren't at their absolute best. The Storm currently sits in first place, on an equal amount of points with the Sharks, the only thing currently separating the two are their three point margin in points differential. 

With Reimus Smith suffering a concussion against the Knights, he is unable to play, so Dean Ieremia comes into the centre for his first game of 2024. Other than this, the Storm make no other changes. 

These sides previously met in Round 2 this year, and the game ended in memorable fashion when the Warriors were up by 12 points, and miraculously the Storm scored 12 points in the final two minutes, with an unbelievable corner try from Xavier Coates. 

The stats majorly lean in favour of the away team, with Melbourne having won their last 15 clashes against the Warriors, and the home side not having claimed a win against the Storm since 2015.

Last meeting: Round 2 2024 - Storm 30 Warriors 26

Who to watch:   Moving back to the five-eighth role, after filling in for SJ at halfback, Te Maire Martin has had an excellent season so far. Playing in every Warriors game since Round 5, he has made eight try assists, nine line break assists, four forced dropouts, whilst also scoring two of his own tries. 

Spending most of the games in number 14 jersey, Tyran Wishart is currently filling in at five-eighth whilst Cameron Munster is sidelined, and this comes after filling in at halfback when Jahrome Hughes was out injured. Wishart had a cracker of a game against the Knights last week, scoring a double, making one try assist and one linebreak. 

Hopefully we'll see the incredible finisher, Xavier Coates, also get a try or two this weekend, having already racked up nine tries in his last five games against the Warriors, and eight tries this year, including a hat trick in Round 8. 

Favourite: The Storm are just minorly favoured to get the win over the Warriors and move into the double-digit number of wins for the season.

My tip: Despite the growing form of the Warriors, I still see the Storm winning this one. With SJ only just returning, I'm thinking it might take a second for the spine to click again, whilst the Storm have played several games with Faalogo at fullback and Wishart in the halves. Melbourne by 8.