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New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters

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Can the Sharks hold off the Storm?

Jason Taylor on why stopping the Storm is the toughest job in rugby league.

PT0M0S 620 349

Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, Saturday 5.30pm (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 5 2012 - Roosters 26 bt Warriors 8 at Allianz Stadium
Head-to-head:
Warriors 16 Roosters 12 drawn 1
Referees: Steve Lyons and Henry Perenara
TV:
Live, FoxSports 2
TAB Sportsbet:
Warriors $1.40 Roosters $3.00 Draw $31.00
FootyTab:
Roosters +7.5

Greg Prichard writes: The Warriors had been up and down through the first eight rounds, but produced their best performance of the season last weekend when they beat the Broncos at home. It was much more like the form that took them to last year's grand final. The Roosters had been up and down as well early, but look more settled as a team now and were much too good for the Knights last weekend.

AAP writes: Both sides will be confident after solid wins last week. The Warriors showed how strong they are at home when they toppled second-placed Brisbane on Saturday. Their forwards were dominant particularly Ben Matulino who put some massive hits on the Broncos pack. The Roosters easily accounted for Newcastle and comfortably beat a very flat Warriors team in round five. The Warriors have won their past three against the Roosters at home and are favoured to do it on Saturday too. The battle of the forwards will be a ripper and the clash of Matulino and Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves should be a beauty.

Key: The clash of halfbacks Mitchell Pearce from the Roosters and Warriors No.7 Shaun Johnson is crucial to this contest and who ever gets on top will be coming away with the competition points.

WARRIORS: Jerome Ropati, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Konrad Hurrell, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Alehana Mara, Ben Matulino, Elijah Taylor, Simon Mannering (c), Feleti Mateo. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Ukuma Ta'ai, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman.

ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Peni Tagive, Joseph Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Braith Anasta (c), Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Martin Kennedy, Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Aubusson, Tinirau Arona. Interchange (from): Boyd Cordner, Lama Tasi, Brad Takairangi, Mose Masoe, Jack Bosden.

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Can the Sharks hold off the Storm (Thumbnail) Can the Sharks hold off the Storm?

Jason Taylor on why stopping the Storm is the toughest job in rugby league.

Expert tips

Picks from our panel for week three of the finals.

Newcastle Knights v North Queensland Cowboys

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, Saturday 7.30pm (AEST)

Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels

Canberra Stadium, Sunday 2pm(AEST)

Cronulla Sharks v Melbourne Storm

Toyota Stadium, Sunday 3pm (AEST)

Penrith Panthers v St George Illawarra Dragons

Centrebet Stadium, Penrith, Monday 7pm(AEST)

Brisbane Broncos v Manly Sea Eagles

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 6.45pm (AEST)

Canterbury Bulldogs v Gold Coast Titans

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Friday 8.45pm (AEST)

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