Squad breakdown: Melbourne Storm 2024 Supercoach analysis

2020 Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the buy credentials of the Storm squad leading into Round 1.


Melbourne once again enter the new season with high hopes of adding their first title since 2020.

By their standards in the Craig Bellamy era, three years without a premiership is essentially a title drought.

They get Ryan Papenhuyzen back on deck and have added exciting back-rower Shawn Blore to their squad.

While there’s several Supercoach players of interest to start the season, a tough early draw including a round 4 bye doesn’t help their case.

Despite the tough draw, they do have four of their first five games at home in Melbourne which helps.

Let’s take a look at the Storm’s NRL Supercoach credentials leading into round 1.

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Melbourne Storm predicted team

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen
2. Xavier Coates
3. Nick Meaney
4. Reimis Smith
5. Will Warbrick
6. Cameron Munster
7. Jahrome Hughes
8. Christian Welch
9. Harry Grant
10. Tui Kamikamica
11. Shawn Blore
12. Eli Katoa
13. Josh King

14. Bronson Garlick
15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
16. Trent Loiero
17. Sua Fa’alogo



Provided Ryan Papenhuyzen is cleared for take off, the backline picks itself with Nick Meaney shifting to centre in place of the departed Justin Olam.

Recruit Shawn Blore may start on the edge, however Trent Loiero is the incumbent in the spot and could retain his starting position.

The final bench spot will depend if Craig Bellamy opts for a utility back in exciting rookie Sua Fa’alogo or another forward.

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Panthers (H), Warriors (H), Knights (A), bye, Broncos (H), Bulldogs (H), Roosters (A), Rabbitohs (A)

First five rounds rating: 2/10


Harry Grant ($750,000, HOK)

The best hooker in Supercoach for a few years currently sits at 27% ownership among all teams.

Pay up for the best, or find value elsewhere?

As far as elites go, most seem to be chasing either Grant or Jeremy Marshall-King.

I’ve had a say about JMK in my Dolphins preview on site, so what about Grant?

With a tough draw to start, plenty will be hoping Grant starts slow.

Historically speaking, he probably won’t.

Last season he averaged 69.27 points per game leading into the Origin opener, and in 2022 he averaged 85.6 in the same period.

There’s also some chance he shares the hooking role and plays reduced minutes.

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Firstly, the tougher draw aids his chances of playing the full 80, so you could see that as somewhat beneficial.

In the final three games of last season he played reduced minutes for scores of 70 (53 mins), 59 (66 mins) and 110 (59 mins).

That’s a three round average of 79.66, which is well above his season average of 73, albeit in a very small sample size.

The point though is that if he does play a 60 minute role it may not be super detrimental, but obviously we do want him going the distance ideally speaking.

For just $111k more is he better or worse value than Marshall-King?

I’m leaning towards the proven Grant, but it’s a tight call.

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Cameron Munster ($728,100, 5/8)

Munster currently sits in just 7% of teams, despite being in the tough five-eighth position that is lacking both quality and value.

That feels very low for a player that hasn’t averaged below 69 in the past five years.

He averaged 71 last season, and 81 the year before.

The tough draw does hurt, but we also know Munster tends to get up for tough games.

He started last season with a six round average of 78.2 points per game.

He had 32 in base last year which is strong for a five-eighth.

For whatever reason, probably having several attacking stars in the spine, Munster has never tended to go large.

He had just two tonnes last season, with a top score of 124. They came against strong teams in the Sharks and Roosters.

He did have five tonnes the year prior to be fair, with a top of 147, so we know he can do it, but he tends to score more consistently rather than belting out big tonnes.

With that round 4 bye it’s risky to have both Grant and Munster, but he is a terrific POD to start the season.

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Jahrome Hughes ($722,400, HFB)

If you’re going against a Cleary-Hynes combo, Jahrome Hughes has been one of the more proven options in the past.

The draw does worry me a bit more with Jahrome despite his class and strong record having averaged 69+ the last three seasons.

Hughes started slowly last season, but lifted from the Origin period onwards.

He ended the year with three tonnes, including a top of 156 against the Eels late in the year.

His 25 in base is only okay and he doesn’t goal-kick, so I’m happy to avoid.

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Eliesa Katoa ($656,300, 2RF)

Katoa averaged 64 points in 68 minutes per game in 2023.

His combination with Hughes is growing rapidly, and in an 80 minute role this season he is one that may be starting at value.

His 40 in base isn’t the best for a 2RF, however what he lacks in output there he makes up for in attacking upside.

In 18 games last season he had 44 tackle busts, six tries and six try-assists.

If it wasn’t for a mid-season facial injury that saw him play an 11-minute game, then miss a stretch where he returned off the bench, he likely averages closer to that 70 point mark.

Remarkably at just 1.5% ownership he looms as a super POD to start the year.

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Ryan Papenhuyzen ($645,600, FLB)

90, 79, 71…

They’re Ryan Papenhuyzen’s averages for the three years prior to 2023.

He’s mid-range price by fullback standards.

He’s a genuine star of NRL Supercoach, and starts at $645k having played just two games last season and 96 minutes in total.

He’s one of the biggest players to watch in trials, because if he’s anything near his best he’ll be an outstanding buy for round 1.

But he’s missed plenty of footy of late, so there is question marks around his return.

He didn’t goal-kick in the trial against the Dogs, but did play very well. The kicking is a concern.

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Shawn Blore ($445,800, 2RF)

Blore is a chance to earn a starting edge role.

If he does so in 80 minutes of game time under Craig Bellamy he may provide serious value to start the season.

He’s priced on a 44 point average from 47 minutes per game last season at the Tigers.

He based 31 in that time and had just one try and one try-assist.

He played three 80 minute games last season, one was a 25 point stinker, but that was in round 27 against Manly where they lost 54-12, so I’m willing to ignore that.

In his other two games he had scores of 92 and 54, with 50 and 40 in base respectively.

In a stronger team with greater attacking opportunity he is right on my radar if starting in round 1.


Sua Fa’alogo ($339,000, FLB-CTW) & Jack Howarth ($238,900, 2RF)

I suspect Fa’alogo and Howarth will either play off the bench or not at all to begin the year.

Unless either are starting there’s no case to buy, so let’s reassess if anything changes.

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