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NRL: No James Tedesco for Sydney Roosters

Sydney Roosters will be out to keep their fine run of form going against Melbourne Storm on Thursday night, but will be missing influential skipper James Tedesco.

There is a jam-packed NRL schedule to look forward to over the Easter period and there is no better place to start than a clash between two of the biggest powerhouses of the modern era. 

Just to add a bit more spice to an already hot encounter, Brandon Smith will be up against his former Storm teammates.

Melbourne superstar Cameron Munster jokingly suggested they will be out to get Smith when the two sides meet, while the new Roosters No.9 will have some invaluable inside information.

It is an interesting sub-plot to the clash and the way the NRL has been going so far this season, an exciting game looks guaranteed.

Extra-time and golden-point wins have been coming thick and fast in 2023 and you would not rule out another one here as these two great rivals go head-to-head.

The Storm appear to have hit a bit of form following a shaky start, while the Roosters have also won their last three games and they looked to be meeting each other at exactly the right time.

What:Melbourne Storm v Sydney Roosters
Where:AAMI Park, Melbourne
When:20:50 (AEST) Thursday 6th April 2023
How to watch:Channel 9, Foxtel, Kayo
Odds:Storm 1.78, Roosters 2.05 

Hughes returns for Storm

Melbourne Storm have been handed a huge boost heading into the game with the news Jahrome Hughes is back to partner Munster in the halves for the first time since round one.

Young starlet Jonah Pezet has done an outstanding job while deputising, but the return of Hughes from suspension is huge. Pezet drops out of the squad but his day looks sure to come.

The combination of Munster and Hughes is pivotal to the Storm challenging this season and coach Craig Bellamy will be keeping his fingers crossed both stay fit.

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The Storm should be high on confidence following their battling 18-10 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium last week.

Bellamy’s side may not have been at their most fluent best but the way they defended and fought for the win bodes well for the future. They will need to show similar qualities again on Thursday night if they are to make it three victories on the bounce.

Melbourne have dominated recent meetings between the two sides, winning five out of the last six. However, it was the Roosters who won the most recent match-up in round 24 last season.

Apart from the return of Hughes, Bellamy will make one other change to his squad. Forward Tariq Sims comes on to the bench to replace Grant Anderson.

Winger Xavier Coates is a try-scoring machine at AAMI Park with 13 in his last 11 games at the venue. He will be the danger-man once again and can be backed at 2.00 to score at anytime during the game.

Tedesco ruled out

The Roosters have recovered well after suffering a shock defeat to the Dolphins in round one, winning the next three games.

The Bondi outfit have beaten the Warriors, Rabbitohs and Eels and will face another tough test against the Storm. However, AAMI Park is a venue they like having won there on their last three visits.

There is some bad news though as they will be without influential skipper James Tedesco, who suffered a concussion in the win over Parramatta last week.

Tedesco is huge for the Roosters and the question has to be asked as to whether they win without him, with history suggesting they can.

The Tricolours can take comfort from the fact Joey Manu will fill the No.1 jersey in their captain’s absence, returning from suspension at just the right time.

The Roosters have won seven out of eight games when Manu has played at fullback, proving he is a more than capable deputy.

Daniel Tupou has been in fine form for the Roosters this season, scoring three tries in four games. He can be backed at 10.00 to score the first try on Thursday night.

The Roosters are a side packed with quality and it is no surprise they are one of the hot fancies to win the premiership. The addition of Smith has been a big plus and his battle against his former teammates is sure to be a must-watch.

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