Melbourne Storm prop George Rose says the team needs to follow the lead of skipper Cameron Smith in their NRL clash with Sydney Roosters.
Melbourne Storm prop George Rose feels his team owes it to their heroic skipper Cameron Smith to lift their game against the Sydney Roosters.
The undermanned Storm have been given little chance of knocking off the star-studded defending NRL champions at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
After a slow start, the Roosters have won five of their last six matches to move to sixth on the tightly packed ladder, while the Storm’s stuttering season has continued with them ninth.
Rose said Smith showed what could be done against the odds in their last-round clash with the Cowboys.
The Queensland captain shrugged off a painful ankle injury suffered in the brutal State of Origin contest to make a mammoth 54 tackles.
With their preparation in disarray following injuries to superstars Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, the Storm still fell 22-0 but Smith showed how mind-set was key.
“He played great in the Origin and got an injury and probably shouldn’t have played for us but he did,” Rose said.
“He really inspired us and it encourages us to work harder this week to get the victory because he really puts in that much effort.”
Smith played halfback against the Cowboys but will shift back to his usual hooking role, with Ben Roberts at No.7 to cover Cronk.
Melbourne have named Tohu Harris at five-eighth, with the 22-year-old impressing there in a surprise selection for New Zealand against Australia in the Anzac Test.
Rose said the quietly-spoken Harris was more of an action man.
“He always keeps his cool and he adds a lot of confidence. He’s a really talented bloke and I think that’s why he can play pretty much any position.”
Standing 195cm and weighing 108kg, Harris still has a formidable running game that the Storm will use to challenge in-form Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.
Rose, 31, has made clear his intentions to return to Sydney after a one-off season, so is auditioning for a future club.
He said he hadn’t made any plans so far.
“I’m just playing my footy and I’m feeling good so hopefully I can have a great season and whatever happens next year, can hopefully get some more success.”