The Sydney Roosters will face what is undoubtedly their biggest test so far this season, when they host the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night in what many are describing as the match-up of Round 11.


The sides sit just one spot apart on the competition ladder, having both lost just two games so far in 2013, but are separated by a lone competition point following the Storms draw on Monday night with the Sea Eagles in their 90-minute hit out at AAMI Park.


The boys from Bondi are coming off the back of a gritty win in Townsville over the Cowboys last Saturday night and will enjoy an extra two days off compared to their opponents, however will also feature in their third NRL match in just 13 days.


The Roosters will enter the blockbuster clash with an unchanged side from last weekends win over the Cowboys, with Luke ODonnell again named to start in the front-row in the absence of the suspended Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.


ODonnell was one of the standouts in last weekends win, with the former Test and State of Origin hit-man showing signs of the form that saw him honoured with representative jumpers after a slow start at his new home following his move to the Tricolours early in 2013.


Not much separates the two sides as they head into their first clash of 2013, with both having scored 40 tries after their opening 10 matches, both sitting on an average of 73% for completion rates, both making an average of just over 320 tackles a match, averaging 8 errors a game and 9 offloads.


However its the defensive stat that an obvious difference arises, with Trent Robinsons side having conceded only 17 tries so far this year compared to Craig Bellamys boys 27.


With both sides possessing an abundance of talent throughout their rosters, there is no question that Allianz Stadium is set for an exciting affair on Saturday night, but which match-up of the mouth-watering many will be key to where this blockbuster is won or lost?


Will it be the battle of the Origin halves, Pearce and Cronk? Will it be the battle of the two Golden Boot winners, Minichiello and Slater? Will it be the former rep stars up front ODonnell and Ryles? Or, will it be the international stars Williams and Hoffman?


Well, in our opinion, it will be neither of those and not any other on-field as well.


This huge clash will be decided in the coaches box, with the rookie Robinson facing the best in the game Bellamy for the first time in his NRL career.


Robinson has shown himself a top-quality coach already, after just ten matches in charge, but this weekend will be able to prove himself as one of the best in the competition when he faces the reigning King of Coaching in the NRL.


Bellamy has the task of getting his boys up after three weeks without a win, but Robinson faces an equally as daunting task in keeping his players on the ground after a run of five wins in a row.


Can they make it six? And, in doing so, can they send the Storm south having not registered two competition points in their last month of football?



Head To Head

Played 24, Melbourne Storm 13, Sydney Roosters 11


At Allianz Stadium

Played 8, Sydney Roosters 6, Melbourne Storm 2


Round 11 Roosters & Storm Teams