Posted: 9/21/2012 12:41:11 AM
"Of the 22 matches played between these sides it stands at 12-10 in the Storm's favour.
It is five wins each from the last 10 matches between these sides while the Storm have won three of the past four in Melbourne.
last of these was the round-one 18-6 win for the Storm at the beginning
of 2011. The last two matches have been at Brookvale and the honours
Melbourne got revenge for losing 2011's "Battle of Brookvale" with a four point win in round 15 this year.
Both sides rarely lose if they are in front at half time, so expect both to come out hard in the first 40 minutes.
seven of the games the Storm have lost this year came during and after
the State of Origin period - highlighting the importance of their stars
Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.
During this period their tackle breaks, points scored and metres
conceded plummeted to the bottom three in the rankings. However, overall
they are usually in the top three for two of these statistics.
worst loss by a mile was by 28 points to the Raiders at home. Neither
Smith nor Slater were present for that game and the Raiders smashed the
Storm with quick ball movement to the edges.
If Melbourne have a
deficiency it is that their forward pack isn't what it once was. Jason
Ryles and Jesse Bromwich only average in the low 90's and Bryan Norrie
in the 70's for metres gained.
However, their error rate is very
low, as are their missed tackles. They are also getting back to their
best footy. In the Storm's last four home games they've averaged 28.5
points for and only 11.5 against.
Manly have an Achilles heel:
they don't defend kicks well at all - as evidenced by Kris Keating's
match winner for the Bulldogs in week one of the finals. In their run in
to the finals their defence is actually ranked number one but their
attack has slipped to 11th.
Somehow Manly won last week in spite
of making 150 metres less than the Cowboys. Like the Storm's front row,
Jason King, George Rose and Brent Kite don't make great metres. None
make more than 90 per match. In their last four away games they are
averaging 16 points scored and 11 points conceded..."