Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters
Sunday 8 June, 3:00pm
Melbourne Storm are set to face the Sydney Roosters when the 2013 premiers travel to AAMI Park on Sunday 8 June.
Sydney will be high on confidence after a strong 26-12 victory over Canberra in Round 12, and will be looking to find some consistency after an up and down start to 2014. Melbourne hold a game in hand over the Roosters and have the opportunity to leapfrog their adversaries on Sunday afternoon.
A mere four points separates the top nine teams in the NRL so far this season with the Roosters currently sitting in fourth position with Storm in ninth.
The two sides have not met since Round 11, 2013 when Cameron Smith put in a dominant performance to lead the Storm to a 26-18 victory. Head to head results have been split evenly over the years with Melbourne only holding a slight advantage. The past suggests location may affect the outcome: the Roosters have been unable to defeat the Storm at AAMI Park since 2010.
Storm will take the positives out of last week’s loss to the North Queensland Cowboys as the side showed plenty of grit and determination in defence while youngster Cameron Munster made his debut at fullback to replace an absent Billy Slater.
A key challenge for Melbourne this Sunday will be containing Sydney’s star-studded squad. Winger Daniel Tupou was instrumental in the victory over the Raiders with an impressive hat-trick, while superstar Sonny Bill Williams is always a dangerous attacking outlet from the second rower.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy elected to select an unchanged line-up on Tuesday entering the match with stability as his side looks to build more cohesion in attack.
The visiting Roosters also made few changes from their Round 12 side, taking the same 17 that defeated the Raiders in Round 12 with youngster Willis Meehan included as 18th man.
HEAD TO HEAD:
LAST 5 MATCHES:
Round 11, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 26 (Maurice Blair, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Cameron Smith; Goals: Cameron Smith 5) defeated Sydney Roosters 18 (Michael Jennings, Luke O’Donnell, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck; Goals: James Maloney 3)
Round 4, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 44 (Cooper Cronk 2, Billy Slater 2, Will Chambers, Ryan Hoffman, Dane Nielsen, Kevin Procter; Goals: Cameron Smith 5, Gareth Widdop 1) defeated Sydney Roosters 4 (Boyd Cordner)
Round 26, 2011 – Sydney Roosters 40 (Joseph Leilua 3, Justin Carney, Aidan Guuerra, Anthony Minichiello, Mitchell Pearce; Goals: Braith Anasta) defeated Melbourne Storm 8 (Beau Champion, Matthew Duffie)
Round 14, 2011 – Melbourne Storm 21 (Justin O’Neill 2, Beau Champion; Goals: Gareth Widdop 4; Field Goals: Gareth Widdop) defeated Sydney Roosters 4 (Joseph Leilua)
Round 14, 2010 – Sydney Roosters 38 (Phil Graham 2, Kane Linnett, Mose Mascoe, Anthony Minichiello, Frank-Paul Nu’uausala, Sam Perrett; Goals: Todd Carney) defeated Melbourn Storm 6 (Rory Kostjasyn; Goals Chase Stanley)
The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.