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Roosters hope for 20k at Adelaide showdown

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3 days ago Emma Kemp

The Sydney Roosters expect a crowd of at least 20,000 at Adelaide Oval for their top-of-the-table NRL blockbuster with Melbourne.

Fresh from last weekend's bye and set on closing a four-point gap on the competition leaders, the Tricolours are hoping to stumble upon a home away from home in South Australia on Saturday night.

When the Roosters decided to take one of this season's home games interstate they couldn't have predicted how much would be at stake in a tight premiership race.

A decent crowd would likely have turned out at regular home ground Allianz Stadium for the two team's first heavyweight hit-out of 2017, and five-eighth Luke Keary was optimistic the Roosters faithful would travel.

"First v second would have been nice here (at Allianz) but our fans have been pretty good," Keary said.

'They'll travel down and people in Adelaide will get to see some footy. Hopefully it's a big turnout.

"They probably won't know what's going on but hopefully they buy some Roosters jerseys and flags and get behind the boys."

Saturday will mark South Australia's first NRL match in six seasons since the Storm defeated Canterbury at Adelaide Oval in July 2011.

While Craig Bellamy's side has twice played at the venue - they lost to the Bulldogs in 2010 - it will be the Roosters' first competitive game in the city.

The result may hinge on how many State of Origin stars back up three days after game two.

The Roosters are banking on the return of Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Blake Ferguson and Dylan Napa, while the Storm hope to regain Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith, Will Chambers and Tim Glasby.

"The Storm have got nearly their full spine there and we've got our halfback and our pretty important forwards in there," Keary said.

"You'd like to think they all back up, especially being a top-of-the-table clash it would be nice to see both teams at full strength going toe-to-toe with each other, but it just depends on what happens tomorrow."

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