Winners of the past three minor premierships, seeing the Roosters 15th on the ladder after 13 rounds is a strange sight.
However their slow start to the season was largely due to a significant injury toll that has begun to lessen in recent weeks.
Their 3-9 record is perhaps harsh on Trent Robinson’s side who have lost five games by five points or less.
With a hulking forward pack that has been among the best in the competition over the past few seasons, this game is set to be one of the most tightly contested 2nd v 15th match-ups in history.
Ben Cummins has also been named to referee the game, the first time he will take charge of a Roosters game since Robinson made post-game comments about him following their 20-18 loss against the Dragons on ANZAC Day.
Playing for keeps
With 12 wins enough to get you into the finals every year since 2008, Sydney are still in with a realistic chance of finishing inside the top eight. To get there though they will have to win nine of their remaining 12 games, that leaves them with little room for error. The Roosters would no doubt be aware of the equation that is in front of them meaning Storm will face a determined side, hell-bent on keeping their finals hopes alive.
Getting the boys back
With Mitchell Pearce, Jared Warea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou among the Rooster stars to have missed games this season it is understandable why the reigning minor premiers made a slow start to the year. Cordner will miss Saturday night with a foot injury but Storm are planning for the other three to play. As their players have returned to the side so to has the Roosters’ confidence. That is particularly true for their forward pack of which Warea-Hargreaves is their talisman.
Planning for Pearce
Mitchell Pearce has not been named to play but Storm are still planning for the halfback’s return from a calf injury. Pearce did not play in last year’s qualifying final but when he does the Roosters have beaten the Storm in three of the last four games. Pearce has two try assists from his three games this season. If he does come into the side as a late inclusion it will see the Roosters’ attacking threat go up ten-fold.