Melbourne Storm

Rd.9 Hostplus Team Update

After a sustained period of strong form in the Intrust Super Cup, PNG flyer Justin Olam is in line to make his NRL debut on Sunday. A debut for the 24-year old would see him follow in the footsteps of Storm legend and PNG native Marcus Bai.

The turnaround proved too short for Curtis Scott who will miss the match with an ankle injury but should be available for selection in Round 10. While Young Tonumaipea injured his hamstring at training on Thursday and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Bennett questions controversial Slater 'drop-kick' try ruling

Slater drop-kicked the ball for himself close to the line to set up the Storm's opening try in what the NRL has since deemed to be an initial correct ruling by the on-field referee Ashley Klein.

Klein sent the ruling to the Bunker which confirmed the try. Klein then explained to Brisbane captain Darius Boyd that Slater was entitled to drop-kick the ball and didn't have to necessarily kick for the posts.

NRL referees boss Bernie Sutton explained why the correct ruling was made (see video below).

Benji and Brooks brilliant as Tigers stun Storm

It's the second time in three weeks that the Tigers have beaten the Storm, both efforts based on courageous defence and new-found grit.

It is the first time the Storm have lost consecutive away games since 2015.

While Marshall grabbed the headlines, hitting the match-winner from 25 metres out, Brooks was the one getting pats on the back from his coach.

Ivan Cleary said he felt his No.7 put in "one of his best" performances and stepped up when it mattered.

"Late in the game, Benji and Luke came up with some big plays," he said.

Sharks score hard-earned win over Storm

It turned out to be a very Good Friday for the Sharks. It was their first win at home for 2018 as they broke even for the season - two wins and two losses.

Even more tellingly they managed to frustrate an uncharacteristically error-prone Melbourne, who did not cross the Sharks line all night, though Ryan Hoffman was held up in the 33rd minute.

The last time the Storm were held try-less was also at the hands of the Sharks, 11-2 in round six last year at AAMI Park.

Thurston's warning to Cowboys ahead of Storm showdown

The Cowboys appeared to be on their way to a victory after the first quarter of the game but the Broncos responded with three quick tries which could easily have been six as North Queensland opened up like a can of sardines.

The Cowboys travel to Melbourne for a Thursday night clash with their grand final opponents from 2017 and Thurston said it would be carnage unless the defensive effort was better across the park.

Bellamy lauds stand-in fullback Munster

Munster was the star of the show in Melbourne’s 36-18 win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Perth on Saturday night, making the most of his return to the No.1 jersey in the absence of Billy Slater.

The Queensland Origin five-eighth will move back into the halves when Slater returns from injury to play his 300th game, potentially next week, with his coach confident he can have a similar impact to what he had against the Bulldogs.

“He didn’t even have a touch there for a while but when he had a few he caused some problems,” Bellamy said.

Thurston magic leads Cowboys to testimonial win

In a moment that could not have been scripted better, Johnathan Thurston pulled a stunning banana kick out of his box of tricks in the final minute to set up a try for hat-trick hero Kyle Feldt and secure a 16-14 win for the North Queensland Cowboys over the Melbourne Storm in his testimonial match at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

It was a perfectly executed move and one that summed up the career of a genius.

Earlier, on the stroke of half-time Thurston put on the signature move that has defined his attacking prowess to score a classic try.

Warriors weather the Storm in Rotorua

A home side missing several of their most-experienced players scored four tries to three on Saturday against the Storm, comprising personnel from reserve grade and feeder clubs.

Without their premiership-winning first-grade players - who beat Leeds 38-4 on Friday night in the World Club Challenge - Melbourne still put up a decent performance.

They opened the scoring with an exceptional team try finished by Sunshine Coast Falcons winger Matt Sopa-Lowler.

Melbourne Storm predicted Round 1 line-up

Up-and-comer Brodie Croft looks set to beat a host of worthy candidates to the vacant No.7 jersey while returning fan favourite Ryan Hoffman looks a straight swap for Harris.

NRL.com expert Jamie Soward says:

"This could be the year we finally see someone go back-to-back. Everyone will talk about the change from Cooper Cronk to Brodie Croft but you've still got Cameron Smith and Billy Slater, around them guys like Will Chambers and Ryan Hoffman coming back, and they pick up a guy like Sam Kasiano. There's no real weakness in this side.

The club that produced six current Kangaroos

The premiership winning Melbourne Storm quartet of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers all wore the Devils jersey, as did Broncos duo Josh McGuire and Matt Gillett.

Kangaroos squad member Ben Hunt has also played for Norths.