Melbourne Storm can overcome Handicap in beating South Sydney Rabbitohs
August 04, 2016
Melbourne Storm (-18.5 points Handicap) @ 1.94 with Luxbet
Two teams in vastly contrasting form meet at AAMI Park on Saturday evening, with high-flying Melbourne Storm playing host to the struggling South Sydney Rabbitohs.
It’s a game where Melbourne could go top of the NRL Telstra Premiership should they win and the result between Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Canberra Raiders earlier in the day goes their way.
Everything certainly points to a very comfortable win for the Storm, who go into the game on the back of a five-match winning streak and have lost on just three occasions all season and just once at AAMI Park. By contrast, Souths have lost eight on the spin and have little to play for besides pride at this stage.
Melbourne are set to be unchanged for the game, but South’s Head Coach Michael Maguire has wielded the axe after Sunday’s 54-4 drubbing at home to Canberra Raiders. Cam McInnes, Jack Gosiewski and Michael Oldfield are all dropped, whilst Luke Keary misses out through injury. In their place, Greg Inglis returns at five-eighth, Tom Burgess at prop and Hymel Hunt and Joe Burgess come into the three-quarter line.
History clearly favours Storm, who has won 21 of the 25 previous meetings between the two teams. South has registered just a solitary victory against Storm since 2011. Other stats also clearly favour Melbourne, who have the best points differential in the NRL Premiership this season (+244) and, by some distance, the best defensive record in the league. For their part, only bottom of the table Newcastle Knights have leaked more points than South this season.
If there’s one indicator that provides a small crumb of comfort for South, it’s that none of the last 10 matches between the two teams has surpassed 41 points in total so, providing that stat holds, they should at least be able to avoid total humiliation.
It’s difficult to make any case for the South to take anything from this match and there is nothing to suggest that it will end in anything other than a fairly comprehensive win for Melbourne Storm. The question is how much of a Handicap are they capable of overcoming?