Raiders' radar set on Storm skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders' radar set on Storm skipper

17/05/2009 11:41:06 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm are bracing for a first-half physical onslaught from Canberra in their NRL clash on Monday night, with all guns pointed at their skipper Cameron Smith.

Thanks to some inside knowledge from ex-Raider Ryan Hinchcliffe, who joined Melbourne this season, the Storm are expecting Canberra to go hard early at Olympic Park.

"We always spoke about coming out and having a real good start and putting the pressure on Cameron Smith," said Hinchcliffe of his days in green.

"I'm sure the Raiders will be coming out to do that tomorrow night.

"They've got a really good pack and I'm sure they'll come out hard in the first 15 to 20 minutes and try to put a lot of pressure on Cameron and try to get a roll on for their team, because if their forwards are rolling, that gives some time for the backs to play."

And the Storm plan to turn the tables, targeting NSW Origin hopeful Terry Campese, the five-eighth looking for a big game in front of Blues and Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

Campese, who represented Country Origin in their loss to City, is the front-runner to make his debut in the NSW No.6 jersey against Queensland in the opening Origin clash in Melbourne on June 3.

The Storm also have a number of representative hopefuls on show, with only two opportunities left, including this match, to impress selectors.

"We've spoken about Campo a fair bit, obviously he's the dominant playmaker and a lot of the play revolves around him," said Hinchcliffe.

"I think if we can put a lot of pressure on him and cut down his thinking time that will go along way for us.

"I know him and I know he'll coming down here wanting to impress, whether that puts extra pressure on him, I'm not 100 per cent sure."

Hard-working Hinchcliffe opened at hooker in the Storm's last win, over the Sydney Roosters, but has returned to the bench against Canberra with Smith again the starting No.9.

The Storm have an impressive record against the Raiders, winning all 13 matches since 2003, with Canberra only managing two victories this season.

"One thing I do know is that in the last two games against the Storm we've had really tight games, they ran away with it in the last 20 minutes of each game and before that the Raiders really put it to the Storm.

"I'm expecting a big game. There's a bit of a rivalry and I'm expecting a close encounter."

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