Roosters prop Sam Moa says his Kiwi teammate Jesse Bromwich will need to be kept quiet when the Tri-colours take on the Storm in Melbourne on Sunday. Credit: Grant Trouville. Copyright: NRL Photos.
At 114 kilos, 194 centimetres and with a penchant for getting about in purple, Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich could well pass for Barney the Dinosaur.
And according to Roosters bookend Sam Moa, keeping the big purple metre-eater quiet looms as, both literally and figuratively, the premiers' biggest challenge in their clash with the Storm this Sunday.
Bromwich has been the definition of a powerhouse up front for the Storm in 2014, churning out 1428 of the hardest yards in the game to rank fourth in the NRL for hit-up metres, while also working his way through just under 30 tackles a game.
Opposite number Moa, who lined up alongside Bromwich for the Kiwis in last month's Trans-Tasman Tests, admits the Roosters' pack will have its hands full containing the 25-year-old.
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"Big Jesse's been probably the form prop in the competition and he's been playing great footy for the past two or three years," says Moa.
"He's one of their main players and we have to do a good job on him in defence otherwise he'll start to run amok and their playmakers will get on the back of that.
"He's a respectful, quiet sort of dude but get him on the field and he's a totally different bloke; he's very hard to handle and we'll have our hands full with him."
The Round 13 contest will have a distinct New Zealand flavour to it, with the Storm's Kiwi quartet of Bromwich, younger brother Kenny and back-rowers Kevin Proctor and Tohu Harris lining up against the Roosters' Kiwi contingent featuring Moa, Sonny Bill Williams, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Frank-Paul Nuuausala.
With the Storm held scoreless in last week's 22-0 loss to the Cowboys, as well as being without attacking weapons Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, Moa expects the recent adversity to bring out the best in Melbourne.
"They've been consistently one of the best sides for many years and they bring out their best when they've got their backs to the wall.
"They're going to be extremely down there at home; Craig Bellamy will have them pumped up, especially after losing last week, so we're going to have a game on our hands. We're not taking this game lightly at all."
The Roosters meanwhile head into the match having imposed a team alcohol ban two weeks ago, a decision Moa says was arrived at in the wake of their recent 42-10 thrashing at the hands of the Cowboys. The loss, arguably their worst performance under coach Trent Robinson, came while halfback Mitch Pearce was serving a one-week club suspension for his alcohol-fuelled arrest in Kings Cross.
"We had a bit of a kick in the guts against North Queensland, and players and coaching staff got together and everyone's decided to make a conscious effort to be smarter about when and where to have a drink.
"It's not a full-season alcohol ban, we'll just knuckle down for the next four or five weeks with not having a beer, and we'll see how we go at the end of that.
"Everyone's starting to make sacrifices in regards to our lifestyle and we're starting to see the effects of that... it's good to see the boys getting back on track."