Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm @ ANZ Stadium
|James Tedesco||1||Billy Slater|
|Daniel Tupou||2||Suliasi Vunivalu|
|Latrell Mitchell||3||Will Chambers|
|Joseph Manu||4||Curtis Scott|
|Blake Ferguson||5||Josh Addo-Carr|
|Luke Keary||6||Cameron Munster|
|Mitchell Aubusson||7||Brodie Croft|
|Jared Waerea-Hargreaves||8||Jesse Bromwich|
|Jake Friend||9||Cameron Smith|
|Sio Siua Taukeiaho||10||Tim Glasby|
|Boyd Cordner||11||Felise Kaufusi|
|Isaac Liu||12||Joe Stimson|
|Victor Radley||13||Dale Finucane|
|Dylan Napa||14||Kenneath Bromwich|
|Zane Tetevano||15||Christian Welch|
|Paul Momirovski||16||Brandon Smith|
|Ryan Matterson||17||Nelson Asofa-Solomona|
History: Played 36, Roosters 15, Storm 20
Last Meeting: Round 16, 2018: Storm 9 def. Roosters 8
Final Thoughts: This Grand Final already has it all. Outrage and celebration is split down the middle over Billy Slater being found not guilty of his shoulder charge from last week. However, the NRL public is collectively crossing their fingers for Cooper Cronk as he attempts to recover from a shoulder injury. If he does, we get the Cronk vs Cameron Smith battle so many anticipated earlier in the year.
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) September 25, 2018
Without him, the Storm are heavy favourites. Their price took a tumble following the news of Slater’s availability to sit at $1.67 the morning after the hearing. Should Cronk be cut either 24 or one hour before kickoff, there might be some more movement in that price yet.
The Roosters shipped out Mitchell Pearce for Cronk with this game in mind. His reliability and experience in big games is what they needed to get over the hump. If they don’t have the 34-year-old out there pointing everybody in the right direction, it’s difficult to see Luke Keary and possibly Sean O’Sullivan steering this team to victory ($2.24).
Let’s be honest, Mitchell Aubusson isn’t running out in the halves on Sunday.
Our traders have points at a premium for this one with the Total set at a poultry 32.5 points.
That acts as another tick for the Storm and all of their experience. If this game is low-scoring and close towards the end, Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster will take control and get the Storm over the line. It’s no surprise to see Smith as a $5 favourite for the Clive Churchill Medal.
When it comes to scoring points, the Storm wingers are the favourites to be the first on the board.
Josh Addo-Carr is on the first line of betting at $8; Suliasi Vunivalu the second at $9. Latrell Mitchell is the favourite for the Roosters at $10 with Blake Ferguson, James Tedesco and Daniel Tupou all at $11. Slater’s Cinderalla story ending is paying $12 to get off to the perfect start.
— NRL (@NRL) September 21, 2018
No team has ever won back-to-back premierships in the NRL era, but the Storm look good to end that streak.
Their forwards are more than capable of holding their own in the middle. The likes of Dale Finucane and Joe Stimson will tackle all night. Kenny Bromwich, Christian Welch, Brandon Smith and Nelson Asofa-Solomona make for a brilliant bench that ensures the Storm are effective for the full 80 minutes.
The Roosters have their weapons. Mitchell can break a game open as good as anybody. It doesn’t matter who plays in the halves, James Tedesco can find a way to dominate. Joseph Manu announced himself as a finals performer last week. Meanwhile, Luke Keary sounds more than ready to take charge of this team if he needs to.
But it’s the Smith’s, Slater’s and Munster’s that tip the odds in Melbourne’s favour.
They’ve all been here and done this before.
With every that is happening off the field, the Storm are worthy favourites and expected to produce the goods on it on Sunday night.