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Melbourne Storm v Leeds Rhinos, Friday 16th February, kick off 8pm (local time)

13th February 2018

By Phil Daly

Cameron Smith of Melbourne Storm

Melbourne Storm have named a full-strength line up for Friday night’s Downer World Club Challenge against Leeds Rhinos at AAMI Park.

Craig Bellamy has selected 13 players from last year’s Premiership team for the marquee clash that will decide the best rugby league team in the world.

WP – In Article MPU

Favourite son Ryan Hoffman is also set to pull on the purple jersey once again for what will be his fifth appearance in the Downer World Club Challenge.

Brian McDermott has named a 19 man squad for the game with Josh Walters coming in for Anthony Mullally in the only change from last week’s 19 man squad for the game against Hull KR. The Rhinos are hoping that Joel Moon will be declared fit after a hamstring injury ruled him out last week on the day of the game at Elland Road whilst Brett Delaney must complete the concussion protocol before he can be included on the night.

A crowd of more than 20,000 is expected for to see Storm and the Rhinos lock horns at AAMI Park. Click here to secure your seat today.

Watch the game live this Friday morning with other Rhinos fans

The Rhinos are on their way to Melbourne for the Downer World Club Challenge, taking place on Friday 16th February at the AAMI Park against Melbourne Storm.

The big game kicks off at 9am on Friday morning UK time, and Leeds Rhinos will be hosting two free World Club Challenge screening events for Rhinos fans to watch the game in action and get behind the boys as they look to be crowned World Club Champions for the fourth time.

There will be a live screening at Emerald Headingley Stadium taking place from 8.15am in the Carnegie Café Bar, and a screening in Leeds city centre at Shooters, perfect for all fans to enjoy before heading to the office, open from 8.30am.

Both venues will be serving breakfast, with a variety of hot and cold food and drinks available. Rugby AM will be hosting entertainment at Shooters, and non-travelling Rhinos players will be at both screenings for photos and signings with the fans ahead of the big kick off.

Both events are free to attend, and all fans are welcome to come along and cheer on the Rhinos.

This is not a ticketed event so fans can just turn up on Friday morning, but you can let us know you are coming by registering your attendance on our Facebook events:


123 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5RD

Open from 8.30am

Shooters Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/174915793112821/

Emerald Headingley Stadium

Carnegie Café Bar, Emerald Headingley Stadium

Open from 8.15am

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/184619105473472/

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Melbourne Storm 38 Leeds Rhinos 4

16th February 2018

By Phil Daly

Brad Singleton of Leeds Rhinos tackle Melbourne's Joshua Addo-Carr.

Leeds Rhinos lost out to Melbourne Storm in the Downer World Club Challenge at AAMI Park but came away with credit from the clash after a committed display from the Betfred Super League champions.

Leeds Rhinos arrived at AAMI Park in Melbourne looking to re-write the record books and defeat the NRL Premiers in their own back yard.

WP – Home MPU

The visitors made the perfect start after just ten minutes when Stevie Ward managed to float a pass over the top into the arms of Ryan Hall, who crossed in the corner in front of the travelling Leeds fans. Kallum Watkins narrowly missed the conversion attempt but his side led 4-0.

Young Jack Walker was put under plenty of pressure by the Melbourne attack after that and the full back came up with the answer on every occasion. Unfortunately he was forced out of the game midway through the first half with a knee injury that was a cruel blow for the former Oulton Raider.

The Rhinos kept up their momentum after that but Melbourne were handed an opportunity when the officials adjudged a forward pass by Stevie Ward. From the scrum, the home side moved up field and eventually Jesse Bromwich forced his way over from close range. Cameron Smith hit the post with his conversion attempt so it remained 4-4.

The video referee was called for for the next try as half back Brodie Croft darted through a gap before getting the ball down. Smith was on target this time and extended his side’s lead to 10-4.

The Australian skipper increased his side’s lead with a penalty soon after but Leeds were still in the game at 12-4.

However, there was bitter blow just before half time when Suliasi Vunivalu burst into life off his wing and cut back inside to score between the posts. Smith added the conversion on the hooter and his side now led 18-4 at the interval.

Despite the scoreline, Leeds continued to show incredible courage in defence to keep the Storm at bay. However, the home side did managed a fourth try after 50 minutes when replacement Nelson Asofa Solomona cut through to score. Cameron Smith added the conversion to give his side a 24-4 lead.

The Storm managed three more tries after that, including one on the final hooter but Leeds produced some outstanding defence to keep the free flowing NRL Premiers out, the pick of which was a sensational tackle by Brett Delaney on Josh Addo-Carr as the winger broke clear.

Leeds were defeated but will return to England with their pride intact having given their all and accepted the challenge of travelling to Australia to face Melbourne Storm.

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Team Performance

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