The Melbourne Storm just keep on keeping on, defeating their nearest rival in the Roosters last week to all but sew up the minor premiership.
This week, however, presents a different challenge for the Storm as it doesn’t come across as your usual top vs bottom fixture.
The Knights are flying (for the first time in a long time) and have a new lease on life after winning three games on the trot, including an impressive 29-10 win over the surging Eels last week. While they still sit at the foot of the table, the confidence in the group will be as high as it’s been for a long time, and it’s the Saifiti brothers leading the way.
Together with young half Brock Lamb, the Knights have reason to believe and will give themselves every opportunity at home against the ladder-leading Storm.
Craig Bellamy hinted at the possibility of the Storm resting some of their stars in the lead up to the finals, and while that may not take place this week, they’ll welcome back Cameron Munster and potentially Tohu Harris (named on an extended bench) which will only make them that much scarier.
Jesse Bromwich, Joe Stimson and Dale Finucane all starred in last weeks top of the table clash as they look to build some momentum heading into the finals series.
Dane Gagai will line up on his Queensland teammate Billy Slater at the back of the park in what promises to be a tantalising duel while Shaun Kenny-Dowall appears to be appreciating his second crack at top-level football in 2017, impressing in his time at Newcastle.
With Brodie Croft and Jahrome Hughes both named on an extended bench, there is a chance that the Storm springs some late changes to their side should they choose to rest their stars, however, if they remain at full strength, it’s hard to see the Knights keep their winning streak alive.
Storm by 10.
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