Sydney Roosters – $2 at Ladbrokes
Melbourne Storm – $1.85 at Sportsbet
It is with good reason that Friday’s clash between the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm is the most-anticipated match of the 2019 NRL Premiership home-and-away season.
A single point separated these two sides when they met at Adelaide Oval in 2017, with Mitchell Pearce nailing the decisive field goal for the Chooks in extra time.
The margin was the same when they resumed hostilities in the City of Churches a year later, this time with Storm skipper Cameron Smith splitting the posts at the death.
SEE ALSO: NRL ROUND 15 BETTING PREVIEW
Now the 2018 grand finalists return to South Australia in a grudge match that could determine who finishes top of the table come September.
Melbourne are two games clear in first place after five wins in a row, while Sydney are locked on 20 points with the second-placed Rabbitohs.
There were concerns that some big names might sit out on the back of a jam-packed representative round, but both sides have all their State of Origin stars and international reps available.
Sydney Roosters Round 15 team news
James Tedesco returns at fullback after taking a breather in the lead-up to Origin II, which sees Joseph Manu move to the centres and Mitch Aubusson back on the bench. Isaac Liu shifts to prop to accommodate Zane Tetevano at lock, while Lindsay Collins fills out the interchange and Sam Verrills drops out of the squad.
Out: Sam Verrills
In: Lindsay Collins, James Tedesco
Melbourne Storm Round 15 team news
Coach Craig Bellamy has made no changes to the Storm side that destroyed an in-form Newcastle last time out. Origin reps Josh Addo-Carr, Will Chambers, Dale Finucane, Felise Kaufusi and Cameron Munster are all named to start.
Roosters vs Storm first tryscorer odds
First tryscorer $11
Anytime tryscorer $2.25
Two or more tries $9
Is there a single man in the NRL with more to prove? Mitchell was cruelly dumped from the NSW Origin squad after a sloppy showing in game one, but his brace against Canterbury last time out suggests that will only make him more dangerous on the domestic stage.
First tryscorer $8.50
Anytime tryscorer $1.91
Two or more tries $6
While Josh Addo-Carr is Melbourne’s go-to guy on the wing these days, Vunivalu is building up a nice run of scoring form after a barren patch early in the year. The Fijian has three tries in his last five games and might be a little fresher than JAC after Origin II.
Sydney vs Melbourne NRL stats and trends
- Sydney lead the NRL with 44 try assists but also rank second for handling errors with 158
- James Tedesco has made more linebreaks (13) and tackle breaks (84) than any other player
- Melbourne rank first in both attack and defence with 354 points scored and only 157 points against
- The Storm are also best in the league for tackle breaks (468) and kick return metres (2,861)
- Each of the last four H&A matches between these two has been decided by six points or less
Roosters vs Storm NRL Round 15 match betting
This is going to be a close one – that much is all but certain. Even when the Roosters bolted out to a 20-0 lead in round six, they only got home by a point. Melbourne are playing far better footy now than they were back in April and have the luxury of a fresh Cam Smith, which might be just enough to tip the balance in their favour.
Melbourne Storm by 1-12 points – $3.25 at Sportsbet
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