Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner.

Boyd Cordner has started the mind games ahead of the clash between the top-two teams on the NRL ladder and last year's grand finalists - the Roosters and the Storm.

He has hung the favouritism tag squarely around the necks of Storm players for Friday night's game at AAMI Park, despite the fact the Roosters are the premiers.

The difference between them is just two competition points. Storm are 5-0 to start 2019 and the Roosters are 4-1.

But in Cordner's eyes, the gap is much bigger.

"It will be a really good test for us to see where we're at," he said on Monday.

"Early on in the season they are the benchmark, and we're playing them in Melbourne as well. We're looking forward to the challenge. This is why you play rugby league to challenge yourself against the best.

"Melbourne are the best in the competition at the moment. It will be a big atmosphere down there on Friday night, they're in really good form."

Five-eighth Luke Keary had the same song sheet in front of him.

"If you ask us we'd say we've been a bit patchy. We've played some good footy and not so good footy," Keary said.

That could be debatable since Roosters lead the NRL by scoring 140 points over five rounds - or 28 more than Storm.

"We've got some talent here that's allowed us to get away with stuff," Keary said. "But coming up against a team like Melbourne is not going to let you with it.

"Obviously Melbourne and Anzac Day [against the Dragons] will let us see where we really are."

And the premiers have two key men on their side - former Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, and former Storm assistant coach Adam O'Brien.

That combined knowledge will provide a few gemstones for Trent Robinson's men, even if O'Brien is still smarting from the grand final loss when he sat beside Craig Bellamy in the coach's box.

"We've got Adam with us so there's some sentiment from him but it's all good for us," fullback James Tedesco said.

"It still gets to him about the grand final. But he's with us now and confident we can do a good job on them.

"He's really smart and leaves a lot up to us and what we like. He'll mix different things in but he gives us a lot of confidence as players.

"He gives Cooper and Keary a lot of responsibility that if they like something, they go for it."

Keary is certainly appreciating the O'Brien footy brain but loves his charisma too.

"First of all he's a good bloke and funny," Keary said.

"He's just a real smart guy and he's brought some stuff to us that he's implementing. You'll see him probably coaching [NRL] in the near future.

"He's handy this week that's for sure."