KEY MATCH-UPS | Sharks v Storm
THE WINGERS | Valentine Holmes and Marika Koroibete
The battle of two speedsters is one that will have any fan of the game salivating, and Valentine Holmes and Marika Koroibete are set to light up Southern Cross Group Stadium on Monday night.
Holmes has proven he can win a game off his own doing, with Sharks Members and fans hopeful the speedy talent will see more ball than in recent weeks.
Holmes’ involvement needs to be upped if the Sharks want to put points on the Melbourne defence, and the winger has indicted he will go looking for more ball in the Round 4 clash.
Koroibete meanwhile has started the year with a bang for the Storm, impressing in his three starts to date and rewarded with four-pointers along the way.
Watch for Jack Bird and Holmes to test the defensive pairing of Tohu Harris and Koroibete on the Storm’s left flank.
THE HOOKERS | Mick Ennis v Cameron Smith
The game’s incumbent Origin hookers, Mick Ennis and Cam Smith will once more lock horns on Monday night – both no doubt up for the personal challenge that awaits.
Ennis had a quiet game by his own admission in last week’s defeat to Manly, and will be out to make amends for the loss in his milestone match by getting back to winning ways against the Storm.
Smith meanwhile has been at his ever-reliable best, in leading the Storm to three wins from as many starts to begin his side’s 2016 campaign.
Smith leads the head-to-head match up between the pair – dating back to 2004 – 13 wins to 5.
THE LOCKS | Jayson Bukuya v Dale Finucane
Jayson Bukuya and Dale Finucane will both don their side’s number 13 jersey come Monday, but both will play a very different role amidst the 80 minutes.
Bukuya has upped his work-rate in recent weeks since earning a promotion to the run on side in skipper Paul Gallen’s absence, doing so in taking on opposition defences both through the middle third and on the edges.
Finucane though has rarely strayed from the middle of the field in his side’s first three rounds, adding extra grunt and size to a Melbourne pack that boasts some of the game’s biggest bodies.
The Sharks will look to exploit Melbourne on the edges this week, with Bukuya set to have a big impact alongside fellow back rowers Luke Lewis and Wade Graham.
If the Sharks are to walk away victors of the Round 4 clash, you can guarantee it will come off the back of the good work done by the men both up front and out wide – with offload’s and second phase play an asset of Bukuya’s game the Sharks will look to play off the back of come Monday.