Storm v Wests Tigers: Jacks dropped, Matulino reinstated

Storm v Wests Tigers: Jacks dropped, Matulino reinstated
Author Timestamp Tue 13 Mar 2018, 01:58 PM

The Tigers must have rolled their eyes when they first laid eyes on the opening two rounds of the 2018 draw.

But after claiming a big scalp with the round one upset of the Roosters, they are now probably relishing the chance to test themselves against the defending premiers so early in the season rather than dreading it.

The bad news for the Tigers is return of classy Storm fullback Billy Slater after shoulder soreness kept him out of the 36-18 win over the Bulldogs.

Melbourne are virtually impossible to beat at home, but Tigers coach Ivan Cleary and his players should certainly be in a positive frame of mind.

The selections

Storm fullback Billy Slater will make his first appearance of 2018 after missing round one with a shoulder injury. His return means Cameron Munster shifts to five-eighth and Ryley Jacks has been dropped from the 21-man squad.

Wests Tigers recruit Josh Reynolds, who was a late withdrawal from the game due to a hamstring injury has not been named for the Wests Tigers. Ben Matulino has been named to start at prop with Matt Eisenhuth on the bench.

Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith ©, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane

Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Christian Welch, 20 Sam Kasiano

Reserves: 18 Young Tonumaipea, 19 Joe Stimson, 20 Billy Walters, 21 Brandon Smith

Tigers: 1. Tuimoala Lolohea, 2. Corey Thompson, 3. Esan Nike Marsters, 4. Kevin Naiqama, 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6. Benji Marshall, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Russell Packer ©, 9. Pita Godinet, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Chris Lawrence, 12. Robbie Rochow, 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Matt McIlwrick, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Michael Chee-Kam, 17. Matt Eisenhuth,

Reserves: 18. Joshua Aloiai, 19. David Nofoaluma, 20. Tim Grant, 21. Tyson Gamble.

Saturday March 17, 7.35pm AEDT, AAMI Park

Head-to-head: 19 games, Storm 19 wins, Wests Tigers 10 wins.

Matches at the venue: 3 games, Storm 2 wins, Tigers 1 win

Last five games: Storm 4 wins, Wests Tigers 1 win

2017 matches: Storm beat Wests Tigers 22-14 in round 4

2017 points per game: Storm 26.4; Wests Tigers 17.2

2017 points conceded per game: Storm 14; Wests Tigers 23.8

Televised: Fox League, NRL Live Pass

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