2024 NRL: Round 7 Preview, Roosters Vs Storm

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 7 clash between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm.



Sydney Roosters Vs Melbourne Storm
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Date: Thursday April 18, 7:50pm


Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Connor Watson 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Angus Crichton 13. Victor Radley 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Egan Butcher 17. Terrell May 18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Dylan Napa 20. Max McCathie 21. Benaiah Ioelu 22. Sam Walker

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Shawn Blore 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Trent Loiero 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Christian Welch 16. Joe Chan 17. Alec MacDonald 18. Grant Anderson 19. Jack Howarth 20. Kane Bradley 21. Jonah Pezet 22. Chris Lewis

Referee: Ashley Klein

Embed from Getty Images


The Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm meet for the first time since their thrilling 2023 semi final when they open round 7 on Thursday night at Allianz Stadium.

The Roosters welcome captain James Tedesco back into the side after he missed their 22-20 win over Newcastle due to the 11-day concussion stand down. As a result, Joseph Manu moves back to centre, with Junior Pauga dropping out of the 17. Sam Walker also missed the win over the Knights, having suffered a concussion the week before and has been named among the reserves, although may still start on gameday. Sitili Tupouniua goes out of the side having suffered a head knock against Newcastle, with his spot taken by Egan Butcher.

The Storm have made two big changes to the side that defeated the Bulldogs last weekend. Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been named for the first time in 2024, with Tui Kamikamica sidelined with a calf injury, while Joe Chan returns to the side in place of Tepai Moeroa (back).

After starting the season with strong wins over Brisbane and South Sydney in the opening three rounds, the Roosters’ form has fallen away in the last three, with the victory against the Knights following losses to Penrith and Canterbury. Despite being well below their best, the Roosters have kept the losses tight, however it’s been the first halves that have cost them dearly.

The Storm have made an artform of close games in 2024, having no match decided by more than eight points and each of their last three decided by two points. In typical Storm fashion though, they have claimed four victories to sit alongside Cronulla at the top of the table. The reunification of the first-choice spine of Papenhuyzen/Munster/Hughes/Grant for the first time since 2022 in recent weeks gives the Storm an edge that most opponents can’t match.

The Storm have dominated matches between the two sides in recent years, winning eight from nine since 2020. This will be Melbourne’s first match at the new Allianz Stadium. They struggled against the Roosters at the original SFS, losing eight of the 13 matches the two sides played there, however they won three of the four they played against them at the Sydney Cricket Ground and have won five of the last six matches they have played against the Roosters at Moore Park. Their last match at the old ground was in 2016, when they claimed a record 46-0 victory over the Tricolours. This will be the seventh venue to host Roosters vs Storm matches since then, joining the SCG, Accor Stadium, AAMI Park, Suncorp Stadium, Adelaide Oval, and McDonald Jones Stadium.

This game could go either way, however the Storm come in with slightly better form and a number of close wins. Even though they lost their only game outside Melbourne so far in 2024, they should be too good for the Roosters on Thursday night.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 7 Number Crunch.


Storm by 4 points.

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