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Round 6 Match Preview: Weathering the Storm at AAMI Park

The Sydney Roosters travel south this week, looking to continue their unbeaten run when they face the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park in a Thursday night thriller to kick-start the Easter long weekend.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm

This Thursday marks the 46th outing between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm since 1998, with the two modern era powerhouses going head-to-head at AAMI Park.

Led this week by co-captains Luke Keary and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Roosters aim to secure their fourth consecutive win despite not having the home ground advantage.

Last time the two teams met was at the same venue, where the men from the Eastern Suburbs claimed an emphatic four-point win in an error-riddled contest. Daniel Tupou, Joseph Aukuso-Suaalii and Joseph Manu all crossed the stripe in the Round 24 clash, and the back line will be looking to produce another attacking masterclass this week.

Both teams currently sit in the top six on the NRL ladder and will enter the Round 6 fixture with high hopes after recording Round 5 victories. This season the Roosters have recorded three wins from four games, while the Storm have won three from five.

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson has made two changes to his side that beat the Parramatta Eels last Thursday night, with Joseph Manu named at fullback, while Terrell May returns to the team on the interchange bench.

Daniel Tupou and Jaxson Paulo line-up on the wings, with Drew Hutchison and Joseph-Aukuso Suaallii resuming their role in the centres.

Luke Keary and Sam Walker unite in the halves again this week, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Brandon Smith and Lindsay Collins completing the forward pack. Egan and Nat Butcher make up the second row, while Victor Radley is set to start at Lock.

The Roosters’ interchange features Jake Turpin, Terrell May, Corey Allan and Fletcher Baker. Naufahu Whyte, Paul Momirovski, Sandon Smith, Siua Wong and Ben Thomas have been named on the extended bench.

Craig Bellamy has named Jahrome Hughes to return at halfback following his two-game suspension, while Tom Eisenhuth will play his first game for 2023 off the interchange bench. Tariq Sims has been included in the Storm’s line-up this week, after missing Melbourne’s Round 5 game.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii
  • Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Drew Hutchison
  • Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Jaxson Paulo
  • Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
  • Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker


  • Prop for Storm is number 8 Tui Kamikamica
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Egan Butcher
  • 2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Nat Butcher
  • Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley


  • Interchange for Storm is number 14 Bronson Garlick
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Jake Turpin
  • Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonald
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Terrell May
  • Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tom Eisenhuth
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Corey Allan
  • Interchange for Storm is number 17 Tariq Sims
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker


  • Replacement for Storm is number 19 Grant Anderson
    Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Naufahu Whyte

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Key Match Up: Lindsay Collins vs Christian Welch

Lindsay Collins goes toe-to-toe with Storm skipper Christian Welch in the forwards this week, in what will be a fiery battle between two senior players.

There are few characteristics that separate Collins and Welch. Both men are one-club players, who made their debuts in the month of May and are passionate Queenslanders who have represented their state in Origin. One centimetre in height, four kilograms in weight and two years in age divide the two senior props, with Welch having the advantage in all physiological categories.

Collins has relished in his role as a starting senior forward so far this season, averaging 144 run metres across four games. The enforcer has made 12 tackle breaks in 2023, averaging 14 hit ups and is set to make is 70th appearance for the Red, White and Blue this week.

His counterpart has played one more game this season, as the Storm don’t have a bye until Round 9. In the first five rounds, Welch has made six tackle breaks and 169 total tackles. In the five games this year, the captain has maintained an  average of 120 run metres and 11 hit ups.

With both teams hungry to secure successive wins, look no further than the men in the middle, who have the ability to step and lead with a positive can-do attitude to dictate the result.

What They Said

"We need to play as a pack and go after it because you know they’re always going to turn up." – Victor Radley

"He [Brandon Smith] will be a big part of our attack and a big part of our team as the season goes on as he integrates into us and we start to feel him a bit more and integrate around him, he will become a centre piece." – Luke Keary

Robinson: 'We Have A Good History Playing These Battles'

Final Verdict

With both sides claiming one win over the other last season, Thursday’s game is set to be another blockbuster as Roosters look to continue their win streak while the Storm seek a home ground victory with the return of Jahrome Hughes.

You can purchase your tickets for Thursday’s game here. If you’re watching from Sydney, be sure to attend Easts Bondi Junction, where Connor Watson will answer questions, sign autographs and take pictures with Members and fans pre-game. Easts are also running happy hour for two hours before kick-off as well as an exclusive game day menu at Artie’s Bar.

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Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters 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.