Round 2 of the NRL season gets underway with the Melbourne Storm hosting the South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Thursday night. The Storm managed to secure an attritional win against the plucky Tigers in round 1, while the Rabbitohs looked far from their dangerous selves while scoring only one try in a loss to the Brisbane Broncos. Both teams have plenty of questions to answer about their premiership credentials in 2022. There could be some rain around Melbourne on the day, but it doesn’t look too bad at this stage.


Draftstars has a $15,000 contest with $1132 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller. 




Storm $1.39 v Rabbitohs $3.00


Team News


The Storm lost Christian Welch and George Jennings to likely season ending injuries in Round 1, as well as Brandon Smith breaking his hand and missing a month or so. Dean Ieremia replaces Jennings on the wing. Harry Grant returns from suspension to replace Smith at hooker, and Jesse Bromwich covers Welch at prop after missing last week due to Covid protocols. The other change is Cameron Munster returning from suspension, forcing Nick Meaney out of the team.


There’s only one change for the Rabbitohs, but it’s a big one. Latrell Mitchell returns from suspension at fullback. That pushes Alex Johnston back onto the left wing, and Josh Mansour out of the team. This change should go a long way to making the Rabbitohs look more like their old selves, even if they do still need to prove they can overcome the loss of Adam Reynolds.




The Storm are big favourites, and I have to say I’m a little surprised. While the Rabbits were far from impressive in round 1, the Storm struggled themselves and lost some important troops along the way. The Storm spine of Papenhuyzen, Munster, Hughes and Grant is tough to beat, and for that reason alone I’ll trust the bookies and lean towards Storm stacks for my builds. 


Value Selections


Love It- Ryan Papenhuyzen $16,500


The Storm fullback was touch and go coming into the season, but he looked pretty sharp on the weekend. His electric pace was on full display, and he linked up nicely in the Storms backline plays. He didn’t quite connect for a big score, but 45 points was a solid start. He’s still fairly cheap for his usual output, and now has the added bonus of Nick Meaney dropping out of the team, meaning Papenhuyzen is likely to resume the goal kicking duties.


Love It- Campbell Graham $12,290


Coming into the season fit and firing, Graham was everywhere for the Rabbitohs last week. Finding ways to get involved from his right centre position, the underrated youngster racked up 49 points without any excessive attacking stats. With a career average around the 43 mark, he’s still great value this week. 28 tackles last week suggests teams will target Lachlan Ilias in the defensive line, allowing Graham to get some extra work defensively.


Love It- Harry Grant $16,430


After a 2021 season spent sharing the hooker role with Brandon Smith, Grant has an opportunity to dominate the role for a few weeks while Smith is out. It’s his first game of the season, so there is a fair chance that Tyran Wishart will give him a rest at some stage. Still, this is a bargain price for a fantasy stud like Grant, and 60+ minutes should be plenty to hit value.


Hate It- Keaon Koloamatangi $15,720


The dynamic young second rower had a big breakout season in 2021, but something may have changed with the departure of coach Wayne Bennett. After playing 65+ minutes in all but one game last year, Koloamatangi saw just 52 minutes last week. I’m not aware of any injury, so am concerned that the rotation involving Jai Arrow, Jacob Host and Michael Chee-Kam may see a reduced role this season. It may be a one-week blip, but it’s something to keep an eye on.


Hate It- Latrell Mitchell $18,900


It’s hard to find any major red flags on this slate, so I’ll look to the enigmatic fullback in his first game since round 24 last season. 2021 was easily his best fantasy season so far, and my chief concern is that the departure of Wayne Bennett could see a drop off in his attitude. With the whole team looking a little off last week, Mitchell is the type of player that might struggle to get involved if the team is being beaten badly. He’s fully priced, so there isn’t much to lose if he does come out firing.


Who Knows- Jai Arrow $14,630


On the flip side of the Koloamatangi role concerns, Arrow thrived last week. After a somewhat disappointing first season as a Rabbitoh, perhaps he will be one to thrive under new coach Jason Demetriou. His first sting of ~30 minutes on the edge didn’t set the world on fire, but he then saw an additional 40 minutes in the middle of the field where he was very busy. If he keeps seeing close to 70 minutes, we can expect this price tag to rise quickly. Of course we thought similar after he went off for 62 points in round 1 last season, so keep in mind that it could be a false dawn.

Always remember to gamble responsibly. When the fun stops, stop. If gambling is having a negative impact on your life, seek support at Gambling Help Online.  18+ only.