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Perennial contenders Melbourne remain firmly on track for another minor premiership after last week's comfortable disposal of Newcastle.

Cameron Smith's shoulder injury could throw a spanner in the works but Cameron Munster ranks as one of the game's elite playmakers while Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith continue to come into their own as genuine game-breakers.

Coach Craig Bellamy might look like he'll blow a fuse occasionally, but he has the Storm humming along nicely as usual.

The Bulldogs broke a long losing streak with a round 11 upset of the Knights and they were valiant in going down 18-16 to the Eels last week. They'll need to produce something truly special to overcome the Storm.

The Rundown

Team news

Storm: Brandon Smith will start at hooker with captain Cameron Smith (shoulder) set to miss a couple of games. Ryan Papenhuyzen is being rested with Nicho Hynes starting at fullback. Justin Olam returns at centre for Marion Seve (ear). Darryn Schonig and Sandor Earl were the two players dropped from the squad an hour before kick-off.

Dale Finucane is also being given the week off with reserve halfback Cooper Johns also omitted on Friday. Tino Fa’Asuamaleaui has been elevated into the starting side. The Storm have won 14 consecutive games at Queensland venues.

Bulldogs: Canterbury will start 1-17 after Kerrod Holland and Renouf To'omaga were the two players left out an hour before kick-off. Ofahiki Ogden moves into the starting side and Sione Katoa starts at hooker with Aiden Tolman and Jeremy Marshall-King benched. Reimis Smith replaces Jack Cogger on the interchange.  

Chris Smith and Matthew Doorey were culled when the squad was reduced to 19 players 24 hours from kick-off.

The Bulldogs have scored only 22 points in their past three games in Queensland.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nicho Hynes
    Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Tom Eisenhuth
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Tim Lafai
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake Averillo
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran Foran
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis

Forwards

  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Ofahiki Ogden
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Brandon Smith
    Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Sione Katoa
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
    Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan Napa
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
  • Lock for Storm is number 15 Tino Faasuamaleaui
    Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Luke Thompson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Ryley Jacks
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Jeremy Marshall-King
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Albert Vete
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Aiden Tolman
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Sauaso Sue
  • Interchange for Storm is number 19 Chris Lewis
    Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Reimis Smith

Key match-up

Nelson Asofa-Solomona v Dylan Napa. They are two of the biggest men in the game and their clashes in the middle will rattle the foundations of Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Asofa-Solomona has slowly but surely worked his way back to form, while Napa doesn't cross the try-line as often as Melbourne's giant prop, but he can still deliver a brutal body shot and he'll have to make his presence felt on Saturday if the Dogs are any chance.

Stat Attack

The Bulldogs weren't far off causing a huge boil-over when they met the Storm in Melbourne in round four last year.

They led 12-6 at half-time and gave their more-fancied opponents all they could handle in the second half in an 18-16 loss. The Storm were more focused in the round 11 re-match, building an 8-0 half-time lead en route to a 28-6 victory.