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Marika Koroibete will be out to back up his two-try effort in Round 1. Credit: NRL Photos

Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans
Sunday March 13, 6.30pm
AAMI Park

When these two teams go head-to-head you can guarantee one thing – plenty of points.

The last three games between Storm and the Titans have seen an average of 48 points scored.

Heart-stopping finishes are also not foreign, with five of last six meetings decided by eight points or less. The one outlier was the 36-14 runaway win Storm enjoyed in Round 22 last year.

All signs point to an entertaining contest and Storms fans are encouraged to turn AAMI Park into a purple fortress with free entry for kids under 15.

Be at AAMI Park when Storm take on the Titans on Sunday 13 March.

Last week the Titans shunned the pre-season doubters with an impressive 30-12 win over the Knights in Round 1.

That will give Craig Bellamy and co. plenty to contemplate before Sunday as the men in purple look to make it two from two at home to start the season.

Will Chambers loves playing against Gold Coast and will be one to watch, scoring five tries in his last four games against the boys from the sunshine state.

Storm have named an unchanged side from the one that beat the Dragons on Monday night while Neil Henry has selected a 19-man squad for the trip to Melbourne, with co-captain William Zillman racing to recover from a calf injury for his fist game of the season.

Key Matchups:

1. Dale Finucane v Greg Bird
The battle of the No.13s is a vital one that could well decide Sunday’s game. Finucane admitted this week he learned from Bird in his younger days but will hold no such sentiments when he runs full tilt at the Titans veteran this weekend. Bird was best afield in his side’s Round 1 win with two try assists, showing that there is plenty of good football left yet in the 31-year-old.

2. Cameron Smith v Nathan Friend
Friend spent four seasons at Storm, playing 34 games as the understudy to Cameron Smith at hooker. Now the two former teammates will go head-to-head as opposing skippers. Friend was appointed to the role in the off-season after returning for a second stint on the Gold Coast. The former apprentice will face the master in a showdown between two hookers desperate to lead from the front.

History: Played 14; Storm 9, Titans 5. Storm have won three of their past four games against the Titans the visitors have made a habit of bursting out of the blocks. Storm have not lead at halftime in the past six meetings.

What we’ve said:

"When I was younger (Greg Bird’s game) was something you could model your game on a little bit but obviously playing against him now it is a different story" – Dale Finucane

"I love playing at home, our fans are always going off, they’re going off at away games too but it is always good to be at home" – Kenny Bromwich

"With some of our ups and down from last year there is no room for complacency. If you’re going to get complacent with the Titans and how they are playing you are going to get hurt" – Craig Bellamy

What they’ve said:

"It is a daunting experience going down to play Melbourne, you know they are strong wherever they play" – David Shillington

"This year I got the start I wanted in Round 1 and hopefully I can continue in the side although there is good competition from all positions" – Anthony Don

"It is hard to change a winning team really… there is a really competition for spots in the team" – Neil Henry

Match Officials: Referee – Ashley Klein; Assistant – Chris Sutton; Touch Judges – Michael Wise & Shane Rehm; Review Officials – Steve Chiddy & Bryan Norrie; Senior Review Official – Luke Patten.

Broadcast: TV – Fox Sports 1; Radio – ABC; Online – NRL Digital Pass.

Squads:

Melbourne Storm

Gold Coast Titans

1 Billy Slater

1 David Mead

2 Young Tonumaipea

2 Anthony Don

3 Will Chambers

3 Josh Hoffman

4 Cameron Munster

4 Nathan Davis

5 Marika Koroibete

5 John Olive

6 Blake Green

6 Tyrone Roberts

7 Cooper Cronk

7 Ashley Taylor 

8 Jesse Bromwich

8 David Shillington

9 Cameron Smith (c)

9 Nathan Friend (c)

10 Jordan McLean

10 Agnatius Paasi

11 Kevin Proctor

11 Zeb Taia

12 Tohu Harris

12 Chris McQueen

13 Dale Finucane

13 Greg Bird

 

 

Interchange

Interchange

14 Kenny Bromwich

14 Eddy Pettybourne

15 Tim Glasby

15 Ryan James

16 Felise Kaufusi

16 Leivaha Pulu

17 Christian Welch

17 Daniel Mortimer

 

18 Luke Douglas

 

19 Will Zillman (c)

 

 

Coach: Craig Bellamy

Coach: Neil Henry

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