Date: Saturday 18th April
Venue: AAMI Park
Storm: 1. Cameron Munster 2. Mahe Fonua 3. William Chambers 4. Kurt Mann 5. Marika Koroibete 6. Blake Green 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (c) 10. Jordan McLean 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane Interchange: 14. Ryan Hinchcliffe 15. Tim Glasby 16. Dayne Weston 17. Felise Kaufusi 18. Ben Hampton 19. Kenny Bromwich 21. Hymel Hunt 22. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Roosters: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Michael Jennings 4 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5 Nene Macdonald 6 James Maloney 7 Mitchell Pearce 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9 Jake Friend 10 Dylan Napa 11 Boyd Cordner 12 Mitchell Aubusson 13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Interchange: 14 Matt McIlwrick 15 Isaac Liu 16 Kane Evans 17 Lagi Setu 18 Willie Manu.
The Melbourne Storm return home this weekend when they clash with fellow premiership contenders, the Sydney Roosters, at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
After sneaking home against the Canberra Raiders on the road last weekend, they go into this clash well entrenched in finals contention in 2nd position.
On the other hand, the Roosters have hit a speed bump. After losing to the Sharks two weeks ago, they came up short against the Brisbane Broncos last week in golden point thanks to a Ben Hunt try. They will be looking to find that early season form that saw them the put the Raiders away comfortably.
In team news, the Storm have named the same 17 with Cameron Munster retaining the fullback spot with star Billy Slater still at least another week off. Four players have been added to an extended bench including former Raiders prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.
The Roosters have shuffled their team around with Jake Friend starting after his successful return last week. This means Matt McIlwrick drops back to the bench. Sam Moa is suspended which means boom forward Dylan Napa gets a start along with Sio Siua Taukeiaho who has been promoted to lock.
Both sides have players missing through injury but have still named quality sides. Munster came in and did an exceptional job last weekend, a tough ask for a player replacing arguably one of the best fullbacks of all time.
The Roosters are desperate for some form and were considered one of the premiership favourites. While this hasn’t changed too much in the last two weeks, too many losses can kill momentum and it can be hard to get it back.
Both halves have started the season strongly with Blake Green in particular being a revelation. The five-eighth had a solid time in the NRL the first time around but since coming back from the English Super League, has complimented Cooper Cronk beautifully.
This game will come down to the backs with excitement galore throughout both teams. However, with the Storm being at home and Marika Koroibete in almost unstoppable form, you can’t go past the Melbourne side.
Prediction Storm by 2.
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