The Roosters were good enough to overcome the loss of Victor Radley and Sam Verrills to finish off the Dragons but the premiers are in for a much sterner test against the Storm.
Radley's aggressive defence and ability to bust the line will be sorely missed but if any side is good enough to overcome adversity it's the Roosters and they won't be making any excuses for the rest of the season.
The Storm have their own dramas with key playmaker Cameron Munster suffering a knee injury in the big win over the Warriors which will force a backline reshuffle.
The two pre-emiment sides of the past decade are still guaranteed to turn on a cracking spectacle for those fans lucky enough to be inside Suncorp Stadium.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 8 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Storm: Cameron Smith moves to the halves in place of Cameron Munster (knee) with Brandon Smith starting at hooker and Ryley Jacks going back to the bench. Marion Seve and Albert Vete dropped off the reserves list an hour before kick-off after Cooper Johns and Chris Lewis were cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. The Storm have won 12 of their past 13 games at Suncorp.
Roosters: The Tricolours are 1-17. Jake Friend is back in the starting team with Sam Verrills (ACL) out and Nat Butcher starts at lock for Victor Radley (ACL). James Tedesco returns from a head knock at fullback pushing Joseph Manu to centre alongside a returning Josh Morris with Ryan Hall out and Mitch Aubusson to the interchange. Poasa Faamausili will come from the bench on his return from a stint on loan to the Warriors. Hall and Lachlan Lam dropped out of the extended squad on game day after Daniel Fifita and Freddy Lussick were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. The Roosters have won three of their past four games in Queensland.
Fullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan PapenhuyzenFullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi VunivaluWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Storm is number 3 Justin OlamCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Storm is number 4 Paul MomirovskiCentre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-CarrWinger for Roosters is number 5 Brett Morris
Five-Eighth for Storm is number 9 Cameron SmithFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke Keary
Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome HughesHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Kyle Flanagan
Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse BromwichProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Storm is number 14 Brandon SmithHooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian WelchProp for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Angus Crichton
Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale FinucaneLock for Roosters is number 13 Nat Butcher
Interchange for Storm is number 6 Ryley JacksInterchange for Roosters is number 14 Poasa Faamausili
Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Sitili Tupouniua
Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tom EisenhuthInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell Aubusson
Interchange for Storm is number 17 Nelson Asofa-SolomonaInterchange for Roosters is number 17 Lindsay Collins
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
Jahrome Hughes v Kyle Flanagan. The halfbacks have more responsibility on their shoulders due to key injuries. For Melbourne, Hughes will need to take creative control in Munster’s absence. Flanagan has enjoyed a great start to his Roosters career but without ball-playing lock Radley acting as the team’s “link”, the No.7 is about to assume a bigger attacking role.
Roosters halfback Kyle Flanagan leads the NRL for both points scored (80) and goals kicked (34) over the first seven rounds. Cameron Smith, the greatest point scorer in the game’s history, has 52 points this year.