The Sydney Roosters lead the Melbourne Storm 18-14 in a blockbuster clash at AAMI Park.
The Roosters lead on the back of three tries to one, including a crucial second half stunner to Joseph Suaalii to put them in the box seat.
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Kenny Bromwich produced a brilliant flick to put Nick Meaney over to set up a grandstand finish.
Joseph Suaalii produced a tough finish to run over Coates and extend the Roosters lead.
A penalty right on halftime gifted Nick Meaney the chance to cut the defecit to 14-8 in a frantic finish to the first half.
The Storm took advantage of their one man advantage with Xavier Coates scoring in the corner just before Waerea-Hargreaves returned to the field.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was sent to the sin bin after both sides were warned for repeated melees.
“This is a line in the sand,” referee Adam Gee said before sending the Roosters enforcer off for 10 minutes after he appeared to face rake Nelson Asofa-Solomona in the next tackle.
Keary then produced a brilliant cross-field kick for Joey Manu to score in the corner as the Roosters took a commanding lead.
The Storm were denied a try to Justin Olam after a contentious put down only for the Roosters to march up the other end and Luke Keary to put Daniel Tupou over for the first try of the night.
However, moments later Tupou went off injured.
Sam Walker gave the Roosters an early 2-0 lead on the back of a Storm penalty for a strip after a fumble from David Nofoaluma.
The Melbourne Storm host the Sydney Roosters in a blockbuster clash at AAMI Park.
The Storm have named Brandon Smith to start at lock against the club he will join next season in a move that has worked for Melbourne in recent weeks.
Marion Seve returns from a hamstring injury with Young Tonumaipea switching to 18th man.
Tui Kamikamica starts with Felise Kaufusi switching to the bench.
Chris Lewis drops out with Trent Loiero joining the bench.
The Roosters welcome back experienced big man Lindsay Collins (concussion) and Siosiua Taukeiaho (cheekbone) in a timely boost ahead of the finals.
Paul Momirovski is 18th man, with Drew Hutchison starting at centre.
The sixth placed Roosters need to win to guarantee their place in the top eight, while the Storm can lock up a top four spot with a victory.
The battle between Cameron Munster, who is tipped to play fullback and James Tedesco should be worth the price of admission alone as the two arch rivals go head-to-head.
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