Arguably two of the most dominant teams over the last decade, and winners of the last four Premierships, the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm have battled in some of the most enthralling and entertaining matches the NRL has ever seen.
After hard deliberation and discussion, here are Five of the Best.
Bondi Wall Keeps Out Storm: Round 12, 2015
The Bondi Wall has been a mainstay of the Roosters’ defensive-oriented performances, and it was at its best here, keeping their opponents tryless in this epic encounter.
It wouldn’t take long for the Tricolours to assert their early dominance, as Shaun Kenny-Dowall went over for the first try just one minute into the match, as a spiralling bomb forced an error, with Mitchell Aubusson then providing the first score of the match.
A sidestepping Roger Tuivasa-Sheck then exploded through the line, and the Storm were unable to answer as he threw winger Daniel Tupou a miracle ball to touch down in the corner. Despite missing both conversions, the Roosters held an 8-nil lead after as many minutes.
Although the flow of tries froze up on a chilly night at the Sydney Football Stadium, the sides traded penalty goals as James Maloney extended the lead before Cameron Smith kicked a consolation goal in the final minute of the first half – but that would be it for Melbourne’s points as the Roosters continued their dominance in the second half.
Easts continued to punish their opponents, as yet another penalty goal made the scores 12-2 before Aubusson got on the scoresheet with a well-deserved try midway through the second stanza after running a trademark line.
Ten minutes later Kenny-Dowall would grab his double, with the Tricolours winning convincingly in front of the Chookpen faithful 24-2.
Thriller in South Australia: Round 16, 2017
Despite Origin representatives forcing changes for both sides, this match turned out to be one hell of a game as the Roosters hosted the Storm in Adelaide.
It was first vs second in this mid-season clash as both sides looked to assert their dominance despite missing a number of stars.
Despite a monumental effort from mercurial five-eighth Luke Keary to streak away and score in the corner, the early warning shot was disallowed as he was forced into touch while he planted the ball down – but his halves partner Mitchell Pearce provided the first points with a face-ball to Mitchell Aubusson who touched down under the posts.
However, the Storm hit back soon after with a 90-metre intercept to Josh Addo-Carr and took a six-point lead into the break as they scored soon after. Extending even further as Addo-Carr claimed his double minutes after half-time and with fellow winger Suliasi Vunivalu touching down, the Roosters had plenty to do with half an hour left and down 20-6.
A four-pointer to Latrell Mitchell thanks to some brilliant service from Keary and Daniel Tupou sparked some life into the Red, White and Blue, and although the Storm regained their twelve-point lead, the Tricolours still had plenty of life in them in the final ten minutes.
Members Classics | Adelaide 2017
A raid on the left saw Tupou score after yet another brilliant pass put him over in the corner, and with time running out and just over one minute left, the Roosters made it a two-point ball game as a well-weighted chip from Keary saw Blake Ferguson go over, before sharpshooter Michael Gordon sent the match into Golden Point with a brilliant sideline conversion.
Pearce then stepped up to the plate, with the captain nailing a 35-metre field goal to send the crowd and his teammates into raptures as the Roosters crowed with a 25-24 come-from-behind win.
SCG Showstopper: Preliminary Final 2019
This match also featured in Five of the Best: SCG Home Victories
It's always a great occasion to play the Melbourne Storm during the finals, and the 2018 NRL Grand Final rematch was one to remember just a week before the 2019 decider.
In what is always a tense contest between two of the premier sides of the NRL, there was an immediate feeling as the sides came together after the first hit-up with giants Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Nelson Asofa-Solomona finding themselves in the sin-bin.
Easts would take the lead with an early penalty goal, before the acrobatic brilliance of Daniel Tupou saw the winger leap above and take a Luke Keary bomb before offloading to Boyd Cordner to touch down.
With both defences shining through, the Roosters would hold an 8-nil lead through the first half, before Melbourne staked their claim with a four-pointer of their own in the 50th minute.
A dubious knock-on call against James Tedesco saw a dazzling aerial try from Joseph Manu disallowed, but the Roosters faithful were on their feet as a Cooper Cronk orchestrated raid ended with Tedesco over the line.
With plenty of defensive brilliance from the Tricolours, including a number of try-saving tackles from their custodian, the Roosters would come away with a 14-6 victory and a place in their second Grand Final in as many years.
Highlights | Roosters v Storm
Magnificence in Melbourne: Round 6, 2019
One of the greatest Rugby League contests in the 21st century, the Premiers of the last two seasons came together in this early season clash, with the two heavyweights sitting at the top of the table in a Grand Final rematch.
The Tricolours struck first as a left-side shift saw a dancing James Tedesco mesmerise his opponents before Daniel Tupou went back inside to send Latrell Mitchell over for a memorable four-pointer just five minutes in.
With an eight-point lead thanks to an added penalty goal, Easts extended their lead with a kind bounce of the ball on the corner post finding a rampaging Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who crashed over under the sticks to extend their lead.
Highlights | Storm v Roosters
Ball-playing brilliance from the Roosters ten minutes later set off the left side again, as flashy offloading from Nat Butcher allowed Tedesco to unleash Mitchell down the sideline, before finishing off a memorable 50-metre team effort to take a shock 20-point lead after half an hour.
The home side struck back just minutes before half-time as Addo-Carr got over in the corner from a dubious pass but would storm back into the contest with two more four-pointer in the second stanza, leaving the scores at 20-all in the final ten minutes.
With tensions at an all-time high, the sides came together in a fiery clash, trading field goal attempts as the full-time siren blared, before a booming field goal from Mitchell 40 metres out sealed the result with the boys from Bondi in celebration as they claimed an emphatic victory in enemy territory.
Premiership Dominance: Grand Final, 2018
Described as ‘the perfect game’ from then-captain Jake Friend, the Roosters blew the Storm out of the water in this dominant victory against the reigning Premiers.
Following an intense start, the Tricolours opened the scoring through a penalty goal just minutes in, before Luke Keary stamped his authority with a looping pass for Daniel Tupou to touch down in the corner in a memorable Grand Final try. Latrell Mitchell joined his winger on the scoresheet to give the Roosters a commanding 12-nil lead after fourteen minutes.
Extended Highlights | Roosters v Storm
Tempers flared soon after as the Storm attempted to strike back, only for centre Will Chambers to be bundled into touch thanks to some Mitchell muscle, and the Roosters were on the board following a 40-metre break from Friend. A professional foul saw Cameron Munster sent to the sin bin, allowing Mitchell to boot another two points before Joseph Manu dotted down in the right-hand corner to give the side an emphatic 18-nil half-time lead.
Keary iced the result with a cool field goal with ten minutes left in the contest, with a penalty goal thanks to another Munster blunder gave an easy two points, culminating in a 21-6 victory as the ANZ Stadium crowd burst at the seams as the Roosters claimed their 14th Premiership.
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