Melbourne Storm football boss Frank Ponissi has revealed a proposal to organise teams in conferences at four different locations as the NRL scrambles to find ways to get back on the field.
On Saturday night the Roosters will play the Melbourne Storm in a preliminary final at the SCG.
This year the teams have been closely matched. I have read many expert opinions on who will win and believe that the Roosters will prevail for five reasons.
The Storm have one leader, Cameron Smith, who is a super legend and an amazing captain. The Roosters have five leaders. They are Boyd Cordner, Mitch Aubusson, Cooper Cronk, Luke Keary and James Tedesco. Five will beat one any day.
The Roosters’ backline has speed to burn and great positional play. All six players in the backs can make a line break and capitalise on it with exceptional pace. I
In addition, Keary and Tedesco have rare acceleration. The Storm have three speedsters, Josh Addo-Carr, Ryan Papenhuyzen and Cameron Munster. Six against three will prevail.
What can not be forgotten is that the Roosters since Round 1 have been unbeatable at the SCG. This home ground is a huge advantage. Melbourne are training at an oval ground to acclimatise themselves to the shape of the ground, but I don’t think that will help.
On a number of occasions this year the Roosters have shown that they can defend as well as anybody on their goal-line. The slide defence in the backs has also been effective.
The Storm defence has also been very good but I believe that they will not be able to contain the speed of the Roosters’ backs as shown on grand final day in 2018.
5. Elite players
The AFL call them A-graders. I call them elite players. These players perform at a very high level consistently.
I believe that the Roosters have 11 elite players. They are the whole Roosters’ backline: Victor Radley, Boyd Cordner, Isaac Liu, Mitchell Aubusson and Sio Siua Taukeihao. The Storm have 8. They are Smith, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Suliasi Vunivalu, Addo-Carr, Papenhuyzen, Munster, Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane. I think that this gives the Roosters an edge.
What one can’t determine is goal kicking. Perhaps Smith has the edge in that or grand final nerves. I think both teams are mature enough to not let nerves ruin the day.
In the end this only my opinion. The good news is Roosters don’t lay eggs so I can’t get egg on my face if I am wrong.