NRL Grand Final

Picture: Philip Hillyard/dailytelegraph.com.au
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves faces his former club in the decider. Picture: Philip Hillyard/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Qualifying Final, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 4 d Manly Sea Eagles 0 at Allianz Stadium
Round 16, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 18 d Manly Sea Eagles 12 at Allianz Stadium
Round 9, 2013 – Sydney Roosters 16 d Manly Sea Eagles 4 at Brookvale Oval
Round 16, 2012 - Manly Sea Eagles 52 d Sydney Roosters 14 at Allianz Stadium
Round 11, 2012 - Manly Sea Eagles 18 d Sydney Roosters 10 at Brookvale Oval

Current Form

  Rd 25    Rd 26    FW1    FW2    FW3 
Roosters

L

W

W

-

W

Sea Eagles

W

L

L

W

W


The Roosters  will go into the NRL grand final against the Sea Eagles  on Sunday evening confident of claiming a thirteenth premiership, having beaten their rivals three times already in 2013. The minor premiers scored an epic 4-0 victory when the sides met in week one of the finals, to go with 18-12 and 16-4 victories earlier in the season and will be confident of reasserting their superiority over Manly at ANZ Stadium. Since that defeat three weeks ago however, the Sea Eagles have been impressive themselves, holding on for a six point win over the Sharks before overcoming a 14-point deficit to pip Souths for a berth in the finale last Friday night.

Recently crowned Dally M coach of the year Trent Robinson has named an unchanged side for the Roosters following the clubs 40-14 preliminary final victory over the Knights last weekend. Dylan Napa has been named on the bench after being a late inclusion against Newcastle when Luke O'Donnell picked up a hamstring strain in the leadup to the match, but could drop out of the squad for Boyd Cordner. The Dally M second-rower of the year hasn't featured since injuring his ankle in round 22 but has been training well and there is speculation he could return for the biggest match of the year.

The Sea Eagles have been forced to make a change for their biggest game of the season, with Richie Fa’aoso ruled out of the match after suffering a fractured vertebra during the first half of his sides 30-20 victory over Souths last weekend. David Gower has been named to replace the 29 year-old on the bench, although Geoff Toovey is keeping his options open by also naming James Hasson on an extended interchange bench. Peta Hiku remains in the squad as cover for Brett Stewart, despite the fact that the fullback made a brilliant return from injury against the Rabbitohs in their preliminary clash. 


1st Tryscorer

Roosters winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck  has been devastating on the right flank this season and Manly will not be looking forward to coming up against him again after his performances against them so far in 2013. He bagged the first try of the match the past two times these sides have met and was the only player to get on the scoreboard in their qualifying final showdown.

Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans  has been one of the driving forces behind the Sea Eagles charge towards the decider, not only setting tries up but has also getting across the line himself. He has bagged three tries in his past five outings and has been playing with such confidence that he has been taking the line on with greater frequency than earlier in the year.


Prediction

The Roosters are three from three against Manly in 2013, although all of their wins came in tight, low scoring  encounters that were decided by less than twelve points . That is hardly surprising given that these sides had the two best defensive records in the regular season but the Roosters seem to present more of an attacking threat than the Sea Eagles do. Manly’s attack centres around a lot of decoy and second man plays, which haven’t been very effective against the minor premiers’ sliding defence during the current campaign, leading to just 16 points in 240 minutes of football. The Roosters tough defence could prove the difference again, although there won’t be much in it. Sydney Roosters by 2

Click here to bet on the NRL Grand Final