History will count for little tonight when the 2016 champs take on the 2017 premiership winners in a Good Friday blockbuster at Southern Cross Group Stadium. 

Both sides will be trying to assert some dominance over their respected opponent, and these key match-ups could prove the difference when it comes to gaining the all important two competition points tonight.

Andrew Fifita v Jesse Bromwich

Arguably two of the most damaging front-rowers in the game, this match-up is set to explode tonight.

The clash of the forward packs will help decide this game and the impact that Fifita can provide will go a long way to giving Townsend and Hodkinson the space they need to get the Sharks backs scoring some points.

He has great footwork for a big man, and is a strong carrier of the ball. The Storm pack will still be very weary of Fifita, and keen to shut him down. They know what he can do, who could forget his match-winning try in the 2016 Grand Final.

With Jordan McLean now at the Cowboys, Bromwich has been the one to lay the foundation for the Storm attack, along with fellow monster Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

Bromwich is well known as the leader of the Storm forwards and will again be out to lead from the front tonight.

Jayden Brailey v Cameron Smith

It's one-all in the battle between Brailey and Smith, having only ever encountered each other in the two regular season matches played last season.

The young bull in Brailey is always up for the challenge, never shying away from the big runners through the middle and always putting his body on the line in defence.

He's a very structured player and has been working hard on his attack during the off-season with the help of Sharks former rake Michael Ennis to take his game to that next level.

Brailey has already made a solid start to the season and will look to continue on with his good form so far in 2018.

We all know what Smith is capable of. He controls the Storm pack, and the game for that matter, in a way no other hooker can with his unique style of play that has everything from running attack, a good kicking game and solid defence.

It's going to be an epic battle in the middle between these two, and only one can come away with the victory.

Jesse Ramien v Curtis Scott

Two young centres who know it’s not just a normal game tonight. Every time the Sharks play Melbourne it’s always on.

Ramien, only two games into his NRL career after graduating up from the NYC competition last season, has been told all week from the boys that it’s always a big game and he will need to come ready to play.

Even in the early stages of his NRL career, Jesse has already made quite an impact. He's a solidly built, quick centre with great power, strength and footwork, making him hard for the defence to bring down.

Ramien this week said he's looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Cronulla junior and now Melbourne outside back Curtis Scott, having played a few junior rep sides together.

Despite being in the same boat as Ramien coming in to the Storms Premiership season, with just two games of first grade experience under his belt, Scott played like a seasoned veteran when the pressure was at its highest late in the year.

He too is a powerful runner with an added taste for the defensive side of the game.

Two young guns, both named in the emerging NSW Blues squad, this one will be great to watch!

 

The Sharks v Storm match is scheduled for a 7.50pm kick-off, with an SG Ball match between the Sharks and Balmain Tigers the curtain-raiser, getting underway at 5.35pm. Gates open at 5.30pm.

In a Good Friday special, tickets can be pre-purchased for $30 for two people, which is half the regular ticket price.