Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters
Saturday 18 April, 7:30pm
TV: Fox Sports, LIVE from 7:30pm
Online: NRL Digital Pass
Radio: 2GB, ABC Grandstand
Two sides looking to consolidate positions inside the NRL's top eight will go head-to-head on Saturday night at AAMI Park.
Storm will host the Roosters from 7:30pm in Melbourne looking to defeat the eastern suburbs club for the first time since midway through 2013 after losing twice to Trent Robinson's side last year. For this season's instalment, both sides will enter Saturday night's clash with contrasting recent results.
After playing four matches out of the opening six rounds away from home, Melbourne return to AAMI Park after back-to-back wins in Rounds 5 and 6 over the Warriors and Raiders. On the other hand, the Roosters will be looking to return to the winner's list after two defeats over the last two rounds.
In team news, Storm Coach Craig Bellamy has named the same 17 who held off a strong Raiders outfit in Canberra last weekend while including four extra on an extended interchange bench. After some strong form in the Queensland Cup, Ben Hampton, Kenny Bromwich, Hymel Hunt and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs have all entered into Bellamy's calculations.
The Roosters were forced to make changes mid-week after accepting forward Sam Moa's one week ban handed down by the NRL's Match Review Panel. As a result Dylan Napa comes into the starting line-up off the bench, as does captain Jake Friend who will make his first start of the 2015 season.
Former Storm forward Lagi Setu is also in line to make a return to Melbourne to face his former club for the first time after being named on an extended five-man interchange bench by Robinson.
Melbourne 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, 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.
Sydney Roosters: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 5. Nene Macdonald, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce (c), 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Jake Friend (c), 10. Dylan Napa, 11. Boyd Cordner, 12. Mitchell Aubusson, 13. Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 14. Matt McIlwrick, 15. Isaac Liu, 16. Kane Evans, 17. Lagi Setu, 18. Willie Manu
Referees – Ashley Klein and Alan Shortall
Sideline Officials – Jess Younis and Ricky McFarlane
Video Referees – Bernard Sutton and Steve Folkes
HEAD TO HEAD:
at AAMI Park
LAST TIME THEY MET:
Round 25, 2014 – Melbourne Storm 14 (Tries: B.Slater 2; Goals: C.Smith 2) defeated by Sydney Roosters 24 (Tries: D.Tupou 2, M.Pearce, A.Guerra; Goals: J.Maloney 4) at AAMI Park.
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