Melbourne Storm five-eighth Blake Green says the Sydney Roosters should present their toughest test of the NRL season, particularly in the halves.
Green and Test halfback Cooper Cronk will lead the charge for the home side on Saturday night at AAMI Park against one-time NSW Origin halves combination James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce.
The 28-year-old, who will play his 50th NRL game after returning from England, said it was a great chance to measure his new partnership with Cronk against the leading duo.
Pearce is once again pushing for Blues selection, ranking third in the NRL for try assists and equal fourth in line-break assists.
“It is a great opportunity for us, they are probably two of the best halves in the competition,” Green said on Friday.
“It is tough to single out one aspect that they are really good at, but something that we picked out this week was that they are really good support players.
“They also kick really well and off the back of that their forwards defend really well and they often win field position because of that.”
While second-placed Melbourne are out to make it three wins on the trot, the Roosters are looking to avoid their third successive loss.
Sixth heading into the round, Green said the Roosters were better team than their ladder position suggested.
“It’s probably our biggest test,” Green said.
“As we’ve seen over the last couple of years they have probably been the benchmark in the competition.”
Green left the NRL as a 24-year-old after failing to nail down a regular role with the Sharks, Eels and Bulldogs.
He spent three seasons in the English Super League with Hull KR and Wigan.
Green said he was a better player and person from the experience of playing overseas and that players shouldn’t only consider it as a stepping stone to retirement.
“It’s probably not the most popular pathway young people use to develop their game,” he said.
“I guess it’s seen as a bit of a retirement opportunity but I went over there when I was 24 and got plenty of experience.
“You’re out of your comfort zone because you’re over there on your own.
“I learned a lot about my game which helped me develop and come back a better player here at the Storm.”