Storm not fearing fortress SCG

The Roosters have lost just one game at the SCG in 2019.
The Roosters have lost just one game at the SCG in 2019.

The Sydney Roosters have turned the SCG into their fortress this year but Melbourne are harbouring no fear of the iconic venue heading into their NRL grand final qualifier.

The Roosters will boast a massive home ground advantage during Saturday's preliminary final having gone unbeaten there over more than six months.

Since moving across the road from Allianz Stadium while it's rebuilt, Trent Robinson's men have won nine games at the SCG, outscoring their opponents 336-72 during that time.

Their only loss there came against South Sydney back in round one.

As well, the Storm have never played a club game there and skipper Cameron Smith's lone appearance at the ground came over a decade ago during the 2008 Centenary Test.

Playing on the expansive, oval-shaped ground can throw up its share of obstacles, such as players losing their bearings while kicking, but Smith said he didn't see it as a factor.

"We played on an oval (Adelaide Oval) this year against the same opposition," Smith said.

"Adelaide Oval is quite different to most ovals we play on. On the rectangular stadiums, the boundaries are quite close to the fencing so you have your bearings on those grounds.

"It's very different the SCG - it's a really big ground, quite open, quite far away. To many guys who haven't played many games on oval pitches, it's quite different.

"We performed well in Adelaide, we went there and got a good victory so we're not going to hold any concerns."

Smith also said the Roosters had a decided advantage having enjoyed week two of the finals off while the Storm were forced to do it the hard way after their qualifying final loss to Canberra.

They easily accounted for Parramatta 32-0 in their semi-final but Smith said the fact the Roosters were able to have the weekend off and recuperate any injuries was in their favour.

"It's beneficial, no doubt," Smith said.

"You get the week off, you don't have to deal with any bumps and bruises from the week prior. You let a lot of time to prepare to iron out any kinks.

"But we're coming off a good performance, we take a lot of confidence out of it and momentum into this match.

"Sometimes (coach) Craig (Bellamy) doesn't like the week off. He feels like you can be a little bit flat. But I can't see that happening with the Roosters. They've done a great job to position themselves."

Australian Associated Press