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A blockbuster so early in the season, with a capital 'B'.

The undefeated Storm after five rounds plays the team with the best attack - the Roosters - who top the NRL with the number of points scored so far in 2019.

That includes 25 tries, or six more than Storm in third spot.

But Craig Bellamy's men are at home and even being that far south they will remember the feeling seven months ago of losing the 2018 Telstra Premiership grand final to the Roosters at ANZ Stadium.

The game-plans of the two coaches, Belllamy and Trent Robinson, will be as keenly watched as the sight of Will Chambers seeking out Latrell Mitchell.

These clubs have won seven of the past eight minor premierships - the Storm on three occasions (2011, '16, '17) and Roosters four (2013-15, '18). Both coaches are the driving forces in setting standards and benchmarks with these two great clubs.

The Rundown

Team news

Storm: Curtis Scott returns from a shoulder injury, forcing Marion Seve out of the 17. In the only other change for the unbeaten Melbourne, Suliasi Vunivalu returns on the wing for Sandor Earl. The Storm will be keen to take on the premiers after losing to them in last year's grand final. Billy Walters and Patrick Kaufusi were omitted from the extended squad on Thursday evening and Albert Vete was cut an hour before game time..

Roosters: A boost for the premiers with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves cleared to play after missing two games with a rib injury. JWH's inclusion sees Zane Tetevano shifted to lock and Isaac Liu is out with a broken finger. In a late switch an hour before kick-off, Sam Verrills came onto the bench to make his NRL debut at the expense of Lachlan Lam. Sio Taukeiaho was then ruled out during warm-up and his place is taken by Lindsay Collins. That hands Josh Curran a debut on the bench. The versatile Mitch Aubusson starts at centre for the suspended Joey Manu. Sitili Tupouniua came onto the bench on Thursday with Poasa Faamausili omitted from the extended squad.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Jahrome Hughes
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Will Chambers
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
  • Centre for Storm is number 21 Curtis Scott
    Centre for Roosters is number 17 Mitchell Aubusson
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Brodie Croft
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper Cronk


  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Victor Radley
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
    Prop for Roosters is number 14 Lindsay Collins
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Angus Crichton
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Zane Tetevano


  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Nat Butcher
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Christian Welch
    Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Sam Verrills
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tui Kamikamica
    Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen
    Interchange for Roosters is number 20 Josh Curran

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

The captains. They may not be Origin opposites any more but Cameron Smith and Boyd Cordner will be the voice players want to hear if anything starts going pear-shaped out on the field. The obvious match-up is two players who seem destined to face-off in Game I at Suncorp Stadium on June 5 and that's the No.6s Cameron Munster (Qld) and Luke Keary (NSW). 

For the Storm to win

Hooker Cameron Smith to out-fox and out-organise whoever is his opposite No.9.  That task might be slightly easier this week as Victor Radley must pass a concussion test and Jake Friend (shoulder) will need to pass a fitness test as he's due back in round six. Elsewhere Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona need to keep Sio Taukeiaho quiet, if that's at all possible. He is averaging 164 metres a game.... and did we mention an average of four tackle busts from his 50-55 minutes?

For the Roosters to win

They must keep up the potency of their back-five despite a few hiccups. There are question marks over Brett Morris (knee), who is due back this weekend and Joey Manu (judiciary) for a crusher tackle. If both men are gone that gives Robinson a few coaching headaches, as three of the Roosters five tries against the Sharks were from the back-five. 

Brett Kimmorley says

The game of the year. I can't wait. What the Roosters did to the Storm in last year's grand final has allowed Melbourne to change their football a little bit. This will be the Origin-making of Luke Keary if he can handle this big game. Melbourne will take time away from him and make him make some tackles. Roosters by 2

Storm Stat Attack

Jahrome Hughes is proving there's life after Slater for the Storm. Hughes has made the fullback position his own at Melbourne, racking up 437 kick return metres - tops in the NRL. The Storm lead the way in post contact metres (2,483) and tackle breaks (190).

Roosters Stat Attack

Luke Keary continues to make a compelling case for Origin selection, especially with the Maloney/Cleary combo off the boil. Keary leads the NRL in try assists (8) and support play (106), but he is also equal-second in handling errors (7).

And another thing ...

Cameron Smith is the man of the moment, breaking Hazem El Masri's all-time points scoring record in Townsville last weekend. He now gets to celebrate that achievement with his home fans... might be nice if he scores a try since he hasn't got one of those among his 36 points from five games so far in 2019.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.