Date: Friday 11th September, 2015
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-Off: 7:55 pm
Home Team 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2 Daniel Tupou 3 Michael Jennings 4 Blake Ferguson 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6 James Maloney 7 Jackson Hastings 8 Sam Moa 9 Jake Friend (c) 10 Dylan Napa 11 Boyd Cordner 12 Aidan Guerra 13 Sio Siua Taukeiaho Interchange: 14 Mitchell Aubusson 15 Isaac Liu 16 Kane Evans 17 Suaia Matagi 18 Matt McIlwrick
Away Team 1 Cameron Munster 2 Marika Koroibete 3 Will Chambers 4 Kurt Mann 5 Matt Duffie 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith (c) 10 Tim Glasby 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Ryan Hinchcliffe Interchange: 14 Kenny Bromwich 15 Christian Welch 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona 17 Jordan McLean
The minor premiers, Sydney Roosters will kick off the 2015 NRL Finals series by hosting the Melbourne Storm at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, a game the Roosters enter in ominous form.
The Sydney side has won their last 12 matches, including thumping arch rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs 30-nil last start. Their opponents from Melbourne crept in to the top four last week, and are in no sluggish form of their own, winning four of their past five matches.
Melbourne also have a better record against the top eight sides than their ladder topping opponents, to add some perspective to the game. It shapes as a dangerous one for the Roosters who are still missing key figures in Mitchell Pearce and Jared Warea Hargreaves (out for the season). They will be relieved to see five eighth James Maloney escape suspension for a tripping charge this week.
The home side will take confidence from their last meeting against the Storm, in which they wiped the floor with Melbourne, winning 24-2, though the fact the game was played in Origin time skews the result.
The Storm have flown under the radar somewhat, not being as consistent as seasons past, and as a result have perhaps had the chances underrated. They are a class side and despite missing Billy Slater, have again been lead well by captain Cameron Smith and half Cooper Cronk. Slater’s replacement in Cameron Munster has shown he is also a force to be reckoned with and is an idea replacement for Slater. The side have a great deal of experience in big matches and will look to once again wrestle the big Roosters forwards out of the game.
For the Roosters they have class all across the park. Their is a reason why this side has won three minor premierships in a row. The worry is the fact they have so far only converted their regular season winnings in to one Premiership. They will be desperate to make amends for a disappointing end to 2014 this year, which could spell danger for their opposition.
Over history, the two sides have a fairly even spread of wins and losses against each other, the Storm ahead marginally 15 wins to 14. The close nature of the contest looks set to continue as the NRL finals series heats up. While the visitors will put up a fight, the Roosters look determined to make amends for not winning the trophy last season, and should continue the charge forward Friday night.
Roosters by 8