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The Sydney Roosters have become the first team to go back-to-back in a unified NRL competition in over 25 years with victory over the Canberra Raiders in the 2019 grand final.
Sydney Roosters 14
Canberra Raiders 8
The Canberra Raiders will look to turn their stunning season into a full-blown fairytale when they take on the Sydney Roosters in the NRL grand final. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:30pm (AEST).
This grand final has more storylines than you could poke a stick at, with fans of both sides confident heading into what should be a good contest.
The Raiders haven’t won a premiership since 1994. On that occasion 25 years ago, it was current coach Ricky Stuart who guided the green machine to glory.
Now, Stuart will look to send his chargers, led by a crop of English players in John Bateman, Elliot Whitehead and Josh Hodgson, who is slowly stamping his authority as a premier hooker in the NRL, towards another premiership.
But standing in their way is a Rooster side who are the best team in the competition. Coached well above the expected by Trent Robinson, they are looking to become the first team to go back-to-back on grand final day in a unified competition since the Brisbane Broncos did it in 1992 and 1993.
This will also serve as the final game in the glittering career of Cooper Cronk, who will have use of both his arms this year as he looks to go out a winner.
The Roosters have been a picture this year on the park, but more importantly, they are peaking at the right time of the season, putting teams to the sword at the pointy end.
The defence of Robinson’s side has been the noteworthy point, conceding just 14 points per game across the season, while their effort there in keeping the Storm out time and time again during last week’s preliminary final was outstanding.
The Raiders, on the other hand, have also built their defence strongly this year, but it’s their attack which will need to be crisp if they are to go with the Roosters.
While their finals wins over the Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs have been classy, they have been gritty, and their attack has, at times, looked clunky, which is something which wasn’t said a lot during the regular season.
Regardless, these two sides are fairly well-matched across the park, and they have put on two high-quality games throughout the season.
The Raiders have the bandwagon, but the Roosters have the finals experience and the form. They should go back-to-back.
Roosters by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 NRL grand final from 7:30pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEDT)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush
TV: Live, Channel 9
Online: Live, 9Now
Betting: Roosters $1.30, Raiders $3.10
Overall record: Played 62, Roosters 34, Raiders 28
Last meeting: Round 21, Raiders 18 defeated by Roosters 22 at GIO Stadium, Canberra
Last five: Raiders 3, Roosters 2
Record at venue: Never played
Record in finals: Played 4, Roosters 3, Raiders 1
Referees: Ben Cummins, Gerard Sutton
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Victor Radley
Interchange: 14. Angus Crichton 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho 20. Jake Friend 21. Ryan Hall
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Iosia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine
Interchange: 14. Bailey Simonsson 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Dunamis Lui 19. Ryan Sutton 20. Siliva Havili