Date: Saturday August 30th
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Aidan Guerra. Interchange: Mitchell Aubusson, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa, Frank Paul Nuuausala
Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Mahe Fonua, Marika Koroibete, Ben Roberts, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Tim Glasby, Tohu Harris, Dayne Weston, Jordan McLean, Junior Moors, Justin O’Neill
Two giants of the NRL go head to head in what could be a potential finals match up when the Sydney Roosters host Melbourne Storm at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
We could have one of the games of the season on our hands as the two have hit the kind of form they were desperate for going into finals footy.
Both are in contention for a top four finish and a win at the Allianz could give either side that push towards the four they need going into the last game of the season.
The Roosters have an outside chance of being crowned minor premiers after the Bunnies and Manly slipped up and they took full advantage by putting the Warriors to the sword in a 46-12 mauling.
Melbourne ground out a win over fellow top four hopefuls Penrith as they came out on top 24-10 making it five wins in their last six games.
The Roosters are primed and ready with the return of Sonny Bill Williams and the hugely important Jake Friend and they will fancy their chances at stopping the Storm momentum, however the big three of Slater, Cronk and Smith will have something to say about that.
Trent Robinson has arguably his strongest 17 fit and they are unchanged, as you would expect, from their dominance against the Warriors with Craig Bellamy adding Jesse Bromwich back to his side with the blockbusting forward’s return giving them a big boost.
Pearce and Maloney are in mouth-watering form as they have rekindled their form in the last month to give their rampaging forwards and lethal outside backs the service they can only dream of.
Put that against Cooper Cronk’s outstanding kicking game which we will see for the 250th time and his brilliant partnership with Smith and Slater we have one hell of a game on our hands.
Keep an eye out for the battle between the wingers too as Tupou and RTS come up against the Fijian flyers Koroibete and Waqa, with the four having plenty of tries in their locker.
Ladder Position: 3rd, 32 points, +214
Last 5: WWWWL
Last win: Warriors (A), 12-46, Round 24
Last defeat: Newcastle (A), 16-12, Round 20
Last time they met: W, Away, 12-32, Round 13
Ladder Position: 5th, 30 points, +78
Last 5: WWLWW
Last win: Penrith (A), 10-24, Round 24
Last defeat: Newcastle (A), 32-30, Round 22
Last time they met: L, Home, 12-32, Round 13
Something has to give in this battle of the big boys and given their form of late it will be a close one. I’m going for the Storm by 4.