Melbourne Storm (2-0) v Canberra Raiders (2-0)
Saturday May 30, 2020, 19:50 AEST (Sydney) 5:50 AM EST
NRL Rugby League - Line Storm -2.5/Raiders +2.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Melbourne Storm face the Canberra Raiders in Saturday NRL Rugby action.
The Canberra Raiders were one of the biggest surprise teams of the 2019 season. Under Coach Ricky Stuart we saw Canberra take a dramatic shift from an off the cuff style of attack to a more structured, defensive centric approach. Canberra moved from 12th in 2018 to second in 2019 for allowed points per game and the early signs suggest this performance might transfer into 2020, allowing a combined 12 points in their two starts thus far.
Canberra have the advantage of size and experience in the forwards with veteran leaders Josh Papalli and Sia Soliola looking to carry over their dominant 2019 campaigns. Combine that with the Raiders punch they have out wide with prominent Curtis Scott, Jarrod Croker, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Nick Cotric the Raiders will be a tough out for any team. The Raiders currently lead the competition in tackle busts, rank second in total run metres, third in kick metres, second in line breaks. This suggests that if Raiders cannot move the ball during their possessions they have the ability to flip the field pin their opponent deep.
Melbourne Storm are led by future immortal Cameron Smith who currently sits at 413 career games and under Craig Bellamy have a knack for turning players into regular first grade starters whether they be rookies or fringe players. Storm suffered a blow with the loss of halfback Brodie Croft in the offseason but are stacked across the board with big guys up front and a lot of speed and size out wide.
These two teams last met in the post season in 2019 with Canberra producing the win after a controversial missed call. The only significant injury concern in this contest is Raiders second rower John Bateman. The Raiders also welcome back outside back Jordan Rapana who provides more depth to an already potent line-up. I have to take a shot here with the Raiders catching the points.