Infotainment Factory: NRL Grand Final: Your ultimate guide

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Saturday, 22 September 2018

NRL Grand Final: Your ultimate guide


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We’ve finally established the two teams that will meet in the NRL grand final, and with both the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm into the grand final we’ve got the minor premiers up against the defending premiers.

The Roosters and Storm finished first and second on the ladder in the regular season, and with wins in the opening week of the final series they both earned the week off in the lead-up to the preliminary final. The Roosters had to grind out a hard fought win over Souths while the Storm were far too good for the Sharks.

Grand Final details:

Grand Final:

Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm, ANZ Stadium, Sunday, September 30, 7:20pm.

Last time they met:

Round 16: Melbourne 9 def Roosters 8 at Adelaide Oval.

A Cameron Smith field goal from 40 metres out was enough to get the Storm over the line in a low-scoring affair in Adelaide. Cooper Cronk had a chance to level the scores in the dying moments with his own field goal attempt but a Ryan Hoffman charge-down was enough to get the Storm home.

Key Players:

Cameron Smith: The Storm captain is arguably the best player in the game. Everything that the Storm do stops and starts with Smith. He determines their direction in attack and gets through a heavy workload in defence. He also boots their goals and is an all-round inspiration to all other players in the team. He teased after they beat Cronulla Sharks to make the NRL Grand Final that he could be tempted to retire if they win. If that’s truly the case, then he has even more reason to go out on a high and that makes him an extremely dangerous proposition.

Cameron Smith celebrates after Melbourne's win over the Sharks.

 

Billy Slater: After much umming and aahing earlier in the year the champion fullback decided that this would be his last season in the NRL. Watching him play in 2018 you’d be entitled to ask the question why? Slater might be 35 but his impact on a game is as great as it’s ever been. The big question revolves around his availability, after he was charged with a shoulder charge following Melbourne’s win against the Sharks. All will be revealed at the judiciary mid-week, but will the distraction upset the Storm’s preparations?

Cameron Munster: The Queensland five-eighth is rumoured to be in the sights of the Roosters for 2020, but for now his focus will be on delivering a premiership for the Storm. The 24-year-old has lifted his game in 2018 following the departure of Cooper Cronk north of the border, and a strong performance in the grand final would have him favourite to reclaim the Kangaroos No.6 jersey.

Cooper Cronk: Just a couple of years ago the thought of Cronk playing in a grand final against the Melbourne Storm would have appeared fanciful, and a shoulder injury may yet prevent the star halfback from lining up against his old club. Having been recruited in the off-season at the expense of the long-serving Mitchell Pearce, the pressure has been on Cronk from day one to deliver a premiership to Bondi Junction, and Sunday night will determine whether the Roosters can convert their minor premiership into the trophy that really matters.

James Tedesco: After a slow start to the season, Teddy has found his feet at his new club, turning his season around after the Origin period and playing an important role in the Roosters’ run to the grand final. His combinations with the likes of Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary, and his ability to imitate a human pinball when running the ball, has made the Roosters one of the best attacking sides in the competition.

James Tedesco in action during the Roosters win over Souths.

Latrell Mitchell: The Roosters centre was hailed as a young Greg Inglis when he first burst on to the NRL and this season has seen him start to realise that potential. He is a handful when he runs the ball and possesses a powerful fend which spells trouble for even the best defence. He also handles the Roosters goalkicking duties and after missing the preliminary final through suspension will make a welcome inclusion back into the starting side for the decider.

What time is kickoff?:

The grand final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm gets underway at 7:20pm on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at ANZ Stadium.

How to watch:

You can catch all the action live and free on Nine from 11am Sunday, with a huge day of action from ANZ Stadium. Ray Warren will be joined for the NRL grand final by some of the greats of the game including Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler to give the viewers at home the best seat in the house.

Grand Final Entertainment:

Aussie rock band Gang of Youths will headline the pre-match entertainment.

We’ve finally established the two teams that will meet in the NRL grand final, and with both the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm into the grand final we’ve got the minor premiers up against the defending premiers.

The Roosters and Storm finished first and second on the ladder in the regular season, and with wins in the opening week of the final series they both earned the week off in the lead-up to the preliminary final. The Roosters had to grind out a hard fought win over Souths while the Storm were far too good for the Sharks.

Grand Final details:

Grand Final:

Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm, ANZ Stadium, Sunday, September 30, 7:20pm.

Last time they met:

Round 16: Melbourne 9 def Roosters 8 at Adelaide Oval.

A Cameron Smith field goal from 40 metres out was enough to get the Storm over the line in a low-scoring affair in Adelaide. Cooper Cronk had a chance to level the scores in the dying moments with his own field goal attempt but a Ryan Hoffman charge-down was enough to get the Storm home.

Key Players:

Cameron Smith: The Storm captain is arguably the best player in the game. Everything that the Storm do stops and starts with Smith. He determines their direction in attack and gets through a heavy workload in defence. He also boots their goals and is an all-round inspiration to all other players in the team. He teased after they beat Cronulla Sharks to make the NRL Grand Final that he could be tempted to retire if they win. If that’s truly the case, then he has even more reason to go out on a high and that makes him an extremely dangerous proposition.

Cameron Smith celebrates after Melbourne's win over the Sharks.

 

Billy Slater: After much umming and aahing earlier in the year the champion fullback decided that this would be his last season in the NRL. Watching him play in 2018 you’d be entitled to ask the question why? Slater might be 35 but his impact on a game is as great as it’s ever been. The big question revolves around his availability, after he was charged with a shoulder charge following Melbourne’s win against the Sharks. All will be revealed at the judiciary mid-week, but will the distraction upset the Storm’s preparations?

Cameron Munster: The Queensland five-eighth is rumoured to be in the sights of the Roosters for 2020, but for now his focus will be on delivering a premiership for the Storm. The 24-year-old has lifted his game in 2018 following the departure of Cooper Cronk north of the border, and a strong performance in the grand final would have him favourite to reclaim the Kangaroos No.6 jersey.

Cooper Cronk: Just a couple of years ago the thought of Cronk playing in a grand final against the Melbourne Storm would have appeared fanciful, and a shoulder injury may yet prevent the star halfback from lining up against his old club. Having been recruited in the off-season at the expense of the long-serving Mitchell Pearce, the pressure has been on Cronk from day one to deliver a premiership to Bondi Junction, and Sunday night will determine whether the Roosters can convert their minor premiership into the trophy that really matters.

James Tedesco: After a slow start to the season, Teddy has found his feet at his new club, turning his season around after the Origin period and playing an important role in the Roosters’ run to the grand final. His combinations with the likes of Cooper Cronk and Luke Keary, and his ability to imitate a human pinball when running the ball, has made the Roosters one of the best attacking sides in the competition.

James Tedesco in action during the Roosters win over Souths.

Latrell Mitchell: The Roosters centre was hailed as a young Greg Inglis when he first burst on to the NRL and this season has seen him start to realise that potential. He is a handful when he runs the ball and possesses a powerful fend which spells trouble for even the best defence. He also handles the Roosters goalkicking duties and after missing the preliminary final through suspension will make a welcome inclusion back into the starting side for the decider.

What time is kickoff?:

The grand final between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm gets underway at 7:20pm on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at ANZ Stadium.

How to watch:

You can catch all the action live and free on Nine from 11am Sunday, with a huge day of action from ANZ Stadium. Ray Warren will be joined for the NRL grand final by some of the greats of the game including Phil Gould, Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler to give the viewers at home the best seat in the house.

Grand Final Entertainment:

Aussie rock band Gang of Youths will headline the pre-match entertainment.

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