Storm v Roosters: Five key points
The Storm and Roosters were both impressive in wet conditions at AAMI Park. Here are five key points from their thrilling Round 7 clash.
WATCH: Storm v Roosters match highlights
WATCH: Roosters post-match press conference
WATCH: Storm post-match press conference
Storm pip Roosters in wet-weather classic
Chambers in line for Kangaroos call-up
Will Chambers is the best centre in rugby league – according to his skipper. Cameron Smith was glowing in his praise for Chambers following Saturday night's dramatic win over the Roosters in which he finished with 114 metres, 13 tackles and scored his fifth try in six games this season. The 26-year-old has stepped up in both actions and words this season as an on-field leader for the Storm's young outside backs. He has developed into a picture of consistency, achieving over one hundred metres in every game while recording either a try or an assist in all bar one outing. It is the kind of form that leaves his captain under no doubt that he has now taken the mantle of the best centre in the NRL.
"I think he is," Smith said after the game.
"I know the rep period is coming up and he is certainly going to be well in the mix for Origin but I think his name certainly needs to be involved in discussions for the Australian side, there is no doubt.
"To say he is playing well is an understatement, he is playing very good at the moment every week. I'd be putting his name for a green and gold jumper for sure."
Wet conditions no problem
When the heavens opened over AAMI Park 20 minutes before kick-off it became certain that we would witness a game riddled with handling errors, or so we thought. Instead Melbourne and Sydney looked like they were playing with a dry footy as they finished with completion rates of 92 and 91 per cent respectively. It is an impressive stat when you consider the Roosters entered the game ranked 15th in the competition for complete sets, however in the slippery conditions the visitors completed all 14 of their first half sets. Both teams also committed just five errors apiece in a clinical display.
Roosters face true test after three losses
Seven weeks into the season it is hardly time to right off the Sydney Roosters. However there is no hiding behind the fact that they have slumped to three consecutive defeats and find themselves with a negative win-loss record heading into next week's ANZAC Day clash with the in-form Dragons. Three of their four defeats have come against teams who currently sit in the top four but rugby league is a game of inches. An extra time loss to the Broncos in Round 6 followed by a one-point defeat against the Storm have left the Roosters wondering what might have been. Had the dice fallen another way the Tricolours could be in a very different position, with coach Trent Robinson not hitting the panic button just yet.
"We feel like were are pushing other teams to play their best footy against us and I feel like we are not off the mark by far," Robinson said after the game.
"I feel like we are in some good form but we haven't won those games so that's a big part of footy as well, knowing how to finish it off.
"I know we are playing some good footy and are not far way from a good run."
The Roosters take on the Dragons, Wests Tigers and Bulldogs in their next three games.
Munster impresses again for Storm
After a couple of years in the Billy Slater's shadow, Cameron Munster is finally getting the opportunity to show he can deliver on his enormous potential. The 20-year-old did not put a foot wrong on Saturday night against one of the premier teams in the competition. He handed the high ball with the ease of a seasoned veteran and appeared to grow in confidence as the game wore on, pushing to join in the attack like another Storm fullback we have come to know. Munster has averaged 170 metres this past fortnight since coming into the team and his performances will have everyone wearing purple brimming with excitement for the future.
"He has got a great teacher in Billy Slater, he spends a lot of time with him," captain Cameron Smith said.
"He has been here for about 18 months now so he knows the system and knows what is expected of him.
"He is coming along really nicely. Before he played last week he had three consecutive man of the matches in the Queensland Cup.
"There are still some things he needs to learn in the game like his possession at times and his talk but he is doing a very good job for us at the moment."
Storm make their mark as premiership contender
This was the statement win that showed the rest of the competition that Melbourne are a real contender in 2015. The Storm now sit atop the Telstra Premiership ladder after overcoming tough conditions to record a famous win against the reigning premiers. With bottom-placed Manly to come next Saturday at AAMI Park there is every chance the Storm could remain in top spot heading into the Rep Round break. It has been two straight years without a finals win for the men in purple but their skipper believes that Saturday night's result shows how far this team can go.
"I just think we've got a really strong belief in ourselves this year," Cameron Smith said.
"If we just keep executing that every week it brings consistency, that is something that we have lacked in the last 18 months."
"We don't look at ladders too often, the big fella beside me (Bellamy) doesn’t let us do that. Winning games brings confidence in yourself, in the team and what you want to do on the weekend."