14/04/2024

Xavier Coates scoring a try Photo: broncos.com.au

The Storm and Broncos Good Friday game has quickly turned into an interesting proposition as COVID-19 remerges.

When the NRL released the 2021 fixture they could not have anticipated the Good Friday clash between last year premiers and wooden spooners would be such a tantalising prospect.

The matchup between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm may be a season defining clash for both clubs.

The Storm has suffered back to back losses on the road after starting the year with the most difficult schedule, playing three of last year’s finalists.

The Broncos however, have shown major improvements under new coach Kevin Walters.

They have not been embarrassed by impressive teams and managed to secure a dominant win against the lowly Bulldogs last week.

Despite the matchup looking favourable on paper, the Storm will be fired up and hungry to perform in front of their home crowd.

Cameron Munster (23 carries for 195 metres) continued his impressive start to the year against the Panthers and will need to be shut down if the Broncos stand any chance of victory.

In the absence of star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, Nicho Hynes stepped up to play his role for the team finishes with 22 carries for 157 meres and one try assist.

George Jennings (18 carries for 164 metres) and Jahrome Hughes (16 carries for 124 metres) also stepped up in the absence of Papenhuyzen.

Christian Welch (15 carries for 133 metres, 25 tackles) was the best of the forward pack, continuing his impressive start to the season.

The young Broncos backs were dominant against the Bulldogs all clocking up over 200 running metres.

Xavier Coates scored a double, bringing his season tally to five, and had 16 carries for 229 metres.

Centre Herbie Farnworth had 18 carries for 269 metres, and one try assist, while fullback Jamayne Isaako had 18 carries for 202 metres, one try and one try assist.

Forwards Alex Glenn (15 carries for 147 metres, 30 tackles) and Patrick Carrigan (15 carries for 164 metres, 37 tackles) also played well and were hard at it all night.

Papenhuyzen adds a much needed boost to the Storm line up after recovering from a neck injury he suffered against the Eels.

Tom Eisenhuth has been named despite not finishing last week’s match with a rib injury, Chris Lewis will likely start if Eisenhuth doesn’t recover in time for the game.

The Broncos have been strengthened by the addition of a trio of forwards into their squad.

Matt Lodge returns from a hamstring injury suffered in round one, Payne Haas is back from suspension and John Asiata also returns onto the bench.

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