Here it is, the NRL Grand Final, who would’ve thought it would look like this?
Both the Roosters and Storm have featured in 15 deciders since 1999, not once meeting in a decider. This Sunday’s showdown was always inevitable, but it has taken 20 years.
The script has been written for the man who has delivered four grand final wins for Melbourne, veteran halfback Cooper Cronk will ironically face his former teammates with the tri-colours.
Cronk is no stranger to grand final week, however is racing the clock with the same shoulder injury that ruled Thurston out of last season. In the meantime, coach Trent Robinson has named Mitch Aubbuson in the no.7 jumper.
In a disrupted lead up to Sunday, the Storm will welcome back Billy Slater after his successful judiciary hearing on Tuesday night. The retiring fullback alongside his team managed to convince the panel of his innocence after the controversial shoulder charge on Sosaia Feki.
Billy will steer the ship to Melbourne’s dazzling attack that will attempt to combat the Rooster’s rock-solid defence.
The battle of centres is a rivalry that will continue to ignite – Will Chambers and Latrell Mitchell. Their tense origin encounter is a preview of what to expect come Sunday.
Our prediction: Melbourne will play in their third consecutive grand final and with Billy returning, they will be hard to stop. Big-game experience could be the difference in lifting the Provan-Summons trophy. The Roosters chances depend on Cronk’s availability, their limits will be tested if he is ruled out. Melbourne by 10.
WHEN IS KICK-OFF?
The NRL Grand Final will begin at 7.15pm. Catch the day’s action of rugby league with the Women’s premiership and interstate competitions earlier in the day.
HOW TO WATCH SUNDAY’S GRAND FINAL ACTION
Sunday nights decider will be broadcaster to Australian viewers on Channel Nines Wide World of Sport.
CAN I WATCH IT OVERSEAS?
Rugby league fans overseas can purchase the NRL Live pass to access full-coverage of Sunday’s game.
AND THE RADIO?
Yep, even the radio has apps. ABC Grandstand and Triple M will broadcast the clash, so download their apps now!
The Aussie band Gang of Youths will be up against the hype/old man angst that Macklemore performed last year.
1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Mitchell Aubusson, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Isaac Liu, 13 Victor Radley
Interchange: 14 Dylan Napa, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Paul Momirovski, 17 Ryan Matterson, 18 Lindsay Collins, 19 Nat Butcher, 20 Sean O’Sullivan, 23 Cooper Cronk
1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 Tim Glasby, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Joe Stimson, 13 Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14 Kenneath Bromwich, 15 Christian Welch, 16 Brandon Smith, 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 18. Ryan Hoffman 19. Jahrome Hughes 20. Sam Kasiano 21. Cheyse Blair