The Melbourne Storm will run plenty of traffic at the Bulldogs’ NSW Origin duo Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson when they clash in the NRL on Saturday.
NSW Origin halves Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson can expect a double dose of attention this week with the pair in the eye of the Melbourne Storm.
The Canterbury duo, as well as Josh Morris, are set to back up from State of Origin duty on Wednesday night with an NRL clash against Melbourne at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The Storm have five players – Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Will Chambers and Ryan Hoffman involved in game three of the series.
Melbourne hope they can take advantage of Reynolds and Hodkinson feeling the effects of another brutal Origin encounter.
“They will probably get a lot of traffic thrown at them on Wednesday night,” said Storm backrower Tohu Harris.
“If they play on Saturday they might be a little bit more tired than they usually are.
“They’re quality players though so I’m sure they’ll have their bodies ready to go against us.”
Melbourne are desperate to rebound from a disappointing 24-12 loss to St George Illawarra and maintain their spot in the NRL top eight.
The Bulldogs are joint competition leaders on 24 points, although hold down third on percentages, while the Storm are eighth on 20 points – the same as 10th-placed Wests Tigers in a packed ladder.
Despite their rollercoaster form this season Harris said the message hadn’t changed from skipper Cameron Smith or coach Craig Bellamy.
“They said we just need to keep doing the little things right,” he said.
“We know that we need to keep working hard at training and the consistency on the park will come.”
Harris said he expected Queensland halfback Cronk to back up from Origin which is his first game back since breaking his arm in game one in late May.
Cronk is set to replace Ben Roberts, who announced this week he will leave to play with Castleford in the Super League next season.
After the Bulldogs the Storm have three games on the road in one of the toughest runs to the finals.