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Roosters take a leaf out of Storm's successful play-book

Watching the professionalism of the Roosters reminds me of the way the Storm have been going about their business for the better part of 15 years.

That should make Friday night's meeting between the two teams a must-watch.

There are three main things that have caught my eye. They are areas where the Roosters look to be catching up to the things the Storm have been doing better than anyone for almost a generation.

First of those is the ability to be able to concentrate 100 per cent of the time. The lower-placed teams just can't do that.

It's not just the leaders, it is all 13 players on the field and particularly the back five. Everyone has ownership of what's going on, keeping an eye out for opportunities when they are not involved in the play and relaying that to the playmakers.

Second is being able to run the right attacking shape so you always have options, not just playing one-out footy.

Every try from Round 5

The Roosters now snap into position quickly. That's what the Storm do when there has been some broken play or their opponent is on the back foot and there is a chance to press home an advantage.

Thirdly, because they've got the shapes there to call on, they're always looking up and playing the high percentage plays consistently at a high level.

At AAMI Park it's going to be a case of who can do those things the best between the two teams. We know what Melbourne will bring - can the Roosters go with them and do the same?

Keary and Mitchell conjure magical try

One thing you notice watching the Storm is that when they attack they might have a few hit-ups coming out of their half but they're never just walking behind the ruck.

Their work off the ball in all positions is always very good. They've always got eyes-up shape in attack.

For every play, there are always two or three options they can take which makes their block plays so effective.

They run the same play again and again and again.

But each time is just a little bit different, a little bit wider or straighter, and the ball player gets better at picking the right option each time and they play high percentage football because eventually you get the right play and someone goes through the line.

Other teams run very similar block plays but because their lines aren't as good, no matter who you hit they still get tackled because you're not committing people in the right shape.

Annesley takes action

The Roosters over recent years have had a lot of success without the same level of consistency; they'll be great one week but average the next and the difference between their best and worst games has been much greater than Melbourne's.

What stood out to me when they beat Brisbane in round four is that anywhere they were attacking they were bouncing into shape.

The centres and wingers were standing wide as an option which pulled the Brisbane defence really wide and the forwards were rolling through the middle with options for a tip-on or a pass out the back.

It put a lot of stress on the Brisbane defence.

They were really playing eyes-up football, counting numbers in front and going from to side with a numerical advantage and if you do that enough times eventual you get on top if you hold the ball.

That's the essence of what the Storm have been doing for years – they strangle teams, play high percentage football and wait for you to crack under pressure.

We know what Melbourne will bring - can the Roosters go with them and do the same?

The Roosters weren't as good against Cronulla last week because their execution was down but if you looked at the players off the ball, you still got the feeling they were trying to get their shapes and if they had executed better they had options everywhere.

Listening to the way Trent Robinson speaks and looking at the way they play, it comes down to their ability to focus throughout the whole 80 minutes. The scoreboard is irrelevant.

There will be a big focus at the Roosters on building some of these combinations around Luke Keary because Cooper Cronk won't be there forever.

The things Keary is doing now with Latrell Mitchell or James Tedesco is looking good. They are running off him, tipping him in terms of opportunities they've got in front of them. It is really building.

Last year it was working out their structures and where they wanted to get to on field. They were winning ugly and playing very structured because they were still learning to play together, at least through the first two-thirds of the season.

It was a case of learning the shapes to have them at their disposal, then it was a case of playing what's in front of you. That's where it got to at the end of last year and they've carried into this year.

But with all that work behind them they have started this year at a much higher level. It will be interesting to see which of these similar styles of play comes out on top on Friday night.

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National Rugby League respects and honours 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.

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