The Best of the Day preview takes the first hit-up with NRL tips for the Round 10 opener between the Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers.
19:50 (AEST) @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
History: Played 31: Melbourne 19 V Wests Tigers 12
History: Round 5, 2018: Wests Tigers 11 d Melbourne 10 at Mount Smart Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Wests Tigers are striving to build some consistency into their campaign, while the Melbourne Storm are aiming to back up the most dominant team performance in the NRL this season.
The 5-4 Tigers will be ecstatic to be sitting sixth after nine rounds. But they haven’t notched back-to-back wins since the opening fortnight of the premiership.
— NRL (@NRL) May 10, 2019
And when they lose, they’ve been losing badly. A 51-6 capitulation to Parramatta and a 42-12 pasting from Sydney Roosters bookended a come-from-behind win over they Titans.
But they eased some pressure with a 30-4 Magic Round defeat of battling Penrith last Friday. The Tigers scored five tries in the first 17 minutes, but crossed just once in the last hour of the match. Second-rower Ryan Matterson’s performance was a clear highlight.
18 runs for 155 metres.
1 linebreak assist.
2 try assists.
3 tackle breaks.
38 tackles (0 missed).
— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) May 14, 2019
The 7-2 Storm received a face-melting blast from Craig Bellamy after a subpar three weeks, losing to the Roosters and Sharks either side of a fortunate win over the depleted Warriors.
But the coach’s spray did the trick if their 64-10 destruction of the Eels is any gauge. The Storm were unstoppable, running in 11 tries.
— NRL (@NRL) May 11, 2019
Injuries to Storm Jahrome Hughes and Curtis Scott have seen exciting youngster Ryan Papenhuyzen get a fullback start and Marion Seve return at centre.
Josh Aloiai (concussion) returns to the Tigers’ bench in their only change.
"Paps reminds me of Billy in his early years, especially in terms of pace – he's smaller and he's quick."
Craig Bellamy on Ryan Papenhuyzen sharing a few similar traits with Billy Slater 👀 🏃♂️💥
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) May 15, 2019
The Storm boast an imposing 11-2 home record against the Tigers. But the joint venture have had more than their share of success against the perennial heavyweights.
The last eight encounters have been split four wins apiece, while the Tigers won both clashes in 2018. They snared a 10-8 victory in Melbourne in Round 2 and came up with a similarly gritty 11-10 win in Auckland three weeks later.
The influence of Tigers halves Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks on both encounters was palpable.
Melbourne have won nine of their last 12 at AAMI Park. Wests Tigers have won six of their last seven interstate.
But the Storm should win comfortably in their current mood, hosting a flaky opponent. Quicksilver winger Josh Addo-Carr has scored seven tries in his last six games and shapes as a strong option to pick up another couple against his former club.
— NRL (@NRL) May 11, 2019