Newcastle makes the trip south winless and without its playmakers in Jarrod Mullen and Darrius Boyd (hamstrings) – making the Novocastrians even more reliant on their experienced forward rotation.Willie Mason, Kade Snowden, Beau Scott and Jeremy Smith will carry much of the workload at AAMI Park as coach Wayne Bennett looks for the quartet to lead the way with their combined 719 games of NRL experience.However they will face a stern test against a Melbourne forward pack that has impressed in the opening two rounds, led by Jesse Bromwich who has averaged 131 metres and 23 tackles a game this season.
Are Newcastle a good side that's been a bit unlucky in Rounds 1 and 2, or will they struggle against Storm who'll have the home fans with them, including Bourbon Rat?
If our experience of the 2014 games so far is anything to go by then it's not a case of who goes into this game as favourites, it's more who turns up on the day and hits there straps.
On paper Storm will start favourites.
Storm though will want revenge for hteir defeat in the semi-finals last season at the Novocastrians hands.