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Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks Predictions & Tips - Storm to be too good for injury-hit Sharks

  • Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks predictions for Friday's NRL Round 8 match
  • The match is being played at AAMI Park (9.00am BST)
  • Melbourne Storm have won their last 4 matches by 13+ points
  • The free-scoring Storm are tipped to cover the -16.5 handicap
  • Match preview, predictions and latest team news
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Melbourne Storm are tipped for another big victory (Getty Images)
Gary Emmerson 29 Apr 2021
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Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks Predictions

Melbourne are the leading points scorers in the NRL and have the second best defence. The Storm are tipped to cover the -16.5 handicap against injury-hit Cronulla.

  • Melbourne Storm have won their last 4 matches by 13+ points.
  • Melbourne Storm have scored 40+ points in 3 of their last 4 matches. 
  • Melbourne Storm have won their last 2 matches against Cronulla Sharks.
  • Cronulla Sharks have lost their last 3 matches and 8 of their last 10 matches.
  • Cronulla Sharks have lost 7 of their last 8 away matches.

Head to Head

Cronulla Sharks have a solid record against Melbourne Storm, edging a 5-4 advantage from the last nine clashes between the sides.

The Sharks have won on two of their last four trips to AAMI Park, and have covered the handicap in four of the last six meetings overall.

But the Storm have won the two most recent meetings. A 40-16 win at home in 2019 was followed by a hard-fought 12-10 victory last season in Sydney.

Melbourne Storm Form

Melbourne Storm are on a roll after bringing up a fourth straight victory last weekend.

The reigning premiers were 42-20 winners over the New Zealand Warriors to continue their free-scoring form.

It was the third time in the last four games that Craig Bellamy's side have totalled 40 points or more.

Storm did so in wins over the Brisbane Broncos 40-6 and Canterbury Bulldogs 52-18. Melbourne have also defeated Sydney Roosters 20-4 in their recent winning run.

Melbourne Storm Team News

Melbourne Storm are forced into two changes with George Jennings and Nelson Asofa-Solomona both out with concussion.

Reimis Smith comes in for Jennings on the wing, with Tom Eisenhuth moving to the centres. Tui Kamikamica replaces Asofa-Solomona in the 13.

Ryley Jacks comes onto the interchange with Aaron Pene, Dean Ieremia, Trent Loiero and Isaac Lumelume named as reserves.

Star full-back Ryan Papenhuyzen remains out for the Storm along with Max King, Darryn Schonig and Brenko Lee.

Melbourne Storm Team List

1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Reimis Smith 3. Tom Eisenhuth 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Tui Kamikamica 14. Harry Grant 15. Dale Finucane 16. Chris Lewis 17. Ryley Jacks 18. Aaron Pene 19. Dean Ieremia 20. Trent Loiero 21. Isaac Lumelume

Cronulla Sharks Form

Cronulla's poor run of form continued with an 18-12 defeat at the hands of the previously winless Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend.

The Sharks found themselves 18-0 down after 23 minutes and were unable to bridge the gap despite a second-half revival.

It was a third straight loss and a fifth in six games for the Sharks, who continue to be hit by injuries.

Since recording a 48-10 win against the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 4, they have lost to the Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights and the Bulldogs.

The Sharks led in the second half against both the Roosters and Knights before going down by eight points and four points respectively. 

Cronulla Sharks Team News

Will Chambers will make his Cronulla Sharks debut against his former club after being named to start.

He pushes Josh Dugan down to the reserves, where he is joined by Matt Moylan. Moylan could come into the starting line-up if passing a fitness test.

John Hannay has made changes with both Aiden Tolman and Wade Graham coming back into the forward line from suspension and concussion respectively. 

Cronulla lose Siosifa Talakai to suspension. Royce Hunt, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Jack Williams and Sione Katoa all remain out injured.

Cronulla Sharks Team List

1. Will Kennedy 2. Mawene Hiroti 3. Will Chambers 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Connor Tracey 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Toby Rudolf 14. Teig Wilton 15. Braydon Trindall 16. Jack Williams 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele 18. Matt Moylan 19. Billy Magoulias 20. Franklin Pele 21. Josh Dugan

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Storm are flying at present and running in big scores. That is ominous for the Sharks, who have lost five of their last six games.

Cronulla are low on confidence and the reigning premiers are tipped to cover the handicap at home with value on a 21-30 point winning margin.

Best Bet: Storm -16.5 Handicap @-109.89 at BetMGM - 3 Units
Value Bet: Storm by 21-30 Winning Margin @300.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit

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