Storm v Roosters: Olam recalled, Coates out; Triple backline blow

The Storm won both match-ups against the Roosters throughout the 2023 regular season but face a much different prospect this time around with Trent Robinson's side full of confidence after extending their winning streak to six.

Not only are the Storm coming off a demoralising defeat but they also have the added anguish of Ryan Papenhuyzen's fractured ankle to deal with as they look to put their premiership campaign back on track.

Perhaps most alarming for coach Craig Bellamy was his side's disjointed attack, with star halves Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes throwing very little at the Broncos in a performance far removed from they dished up for most of the season.

The Roosters have injuries dramas of their own after a tense struggle with the Sharks but they arrive at AAMI Park with a strong belief that they can march on for at least another week and set up a preliminary final blockbuster against the Panthers.

That would pit two of the best teams of the modern era against one another but first the Roosters must triumph at AAMI Park, a ground where they have won just four times in 11 matches.

Team News
Storm: Xavier Coates is out after picking up an ankle injury last week so Reimis Smith comes in on the wing. PNG international Justin Olam has been recalled in the centres to replace Young Tonumaipea, who suffered a head injury against the Broncos. With Ryan Papenhuyzen undergoing surgery over the weekend, Alec MacDonald has been recalled to the bench for his 13th appearance of the season. Grant Anderson is 18th Man.

Roosters: Joseph Manu (hamstring), Billy Smith (jaw) and Joseph Suaali'i (concussion) are all out in a triple blow to the Roosters. Paul Momirovski and Corey Allan are the new centres while Jaxson Paulo comes in on the wing. Momirovski will play his first NRL game since Round 9 while Paulo's last game was in Round 12 against the Dragons. 

Stat Attack 

  • The 26-0 loss to Brisbane was the first time the Storm have been held scoreless since Round 15, 2020 (14-0 v Eels).
  • The Roosters have won eight of their 12 finals matches since the opening week of the 2018 finals series when they went on to win the premiership.
  • Roosters captain James Tedesco has scored seven tries in his past nine finals matches.
  • The Storm have won seven of their past eight games against the Roosters.
  • The Roosters are aiming for a seventh consecutive victory.
  • The Storm have won seven of their past nine finals games at AAMI Park.
  •  The Roosters have won three of their four finals against the Storm.
  • The Storm are aiming to reach a preliminary final for the eighth time in the past nine seasons.

Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.


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