This is it. The game rugby league fans around Australia have been eagerly awaiting, the 2010 NRL Grand Final, is here and what a game it will be!
Two teams that are different in every way have emerged on the other side of the finals ready to face off in the toughest 80 minutes of footy many of them will ever play when the St George Illawarra Dragons play the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on Sunday arvo, October 3 at 5:15pm (EST).
For the first time in six years we have an all-Sydney NRL Grand Final, making this one an especially important encounter for the sell-out New South Wales crowd that will be at the ground.
The Dragons have been the most consistent and clinical team of the 2010 NRL season and the inclusion of the back-to-back Minor Premiership winners in the Grand Final is no surprise.
It is the Roosters that have stunned the NRL community, fans and even themselves with being just one game away from the Premiership winners for 2010 after starting their season with an inconsistent win-loss-win-loss record.
Twelve months ago Sydney were on the sidelines after finishing as the disgraced Wooden Spoon team of the year and now have the chance to rise from worst to first for the first time since the Western Suburb magpies in 1934.
The Dragons are out to enter the history books too and break the 75 year Premiership drought of the Saints, the first Grand Final win for the joint-venture team.
Defensively the Dragons are the best in the competition, but if anyone can break through their stonewall defence it is the attacking prowess and talent found in the Roosters.
Read on to see the chances each team has of winning on Sunday and then use the info to get in on those great betting markets open on the Grand Final through Ladbrokes.com.au!
Footy Tip of the Match – Roosters to win by 7 – 12 points at $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au
Dragons v Roosters in 2010
These two have met twice before this year with the Dragons enjoying all the glory.
They first met in Round 7 in the Anzac Day clash of the season when the Dragons enjoyed a big 28 – 6 win.
Then the Red V’s made it two from two in Round 22 in a gritty and well-earned 19 – 12 victory, but the Roosters would have felt better about this one coming much closer.
Looking further back it is St George that still holds the advantage having won nine of their past 11 against Sydney, but it is a very different Roosters outfit showing up on Sunday so look out Saints.
Can the Sydney Roosters win the 2010 NRL Grand Final?
- Form: W-W-W-W-W
The Roosters have risen from their early season inconsistency to string together five straight wins including their confidence boosting 32 – 6 victory over the Titans last week.
They have plenty of points in them scoring between 18 and 30 points in each of their past five matches but will they have the same peck facing the tough wall of defence the Dragons are famous for?
- Coach: Brian Smith. Roosters Coach of the Year Brian Smith is yet to win a Grand Final but will this work against them as he has lower confidence after three previously unsuccessful attempts including two to Bennett in 1992 and 1993, or for them as he is the hungrier of the two coaching rivals?
- Captain: Braith Anasta. Anasta was named Captain of the Year and rightfully so as he is definitely at his peak and has the skill and cool head under pressure that wins GF games.
- Best Chance: The Chooks best chance of success is through their star halves combo of Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce who have been brilliant in turning this team around since midseason.
Can St George Illawarra Dragons win the 2010 NRL Grand Final?
- Form: W-W-W-W-L
The Dragons have won their past four games but their 13 – 12 victory over the Tigers in last week’s final was anything but comprehensive.
Yes they won, yes they ground down their rivals and stayed calm under pressure, but you have to wonder how they will go if the Roosters get a good head start on Sunday.
- Coach: Wayne Bennett. Bennett has a perfect record of six from six in NRL Grand Finals when he coached the Brisbane Broncos through their golden era, but will the pressure of maintaining his unbeaten record as a Grand Final coach get to him?
- Captain: Ben Hornby.
- Best Chance: Defence. The Dragons are the best defensive team going around and their rivals can’t beat them if they can’t get through them. But that’s not to say St George’s attack can be underestimated either, don’t forget they have Brett Morris lurking out on the wing.
Team to First Score in the Grand Final will Win the Grand Final
The stats and history show that the first team to score on Sunday will become the odds-on favourites to win.
The Roosters have gone on to win nine of the 11 matches where they scored first this season while the Dragons are 14/15 when scoring the first four-pointer.
First Team to 18 Points in the Grand Final will Win the Grand Final
The other interesting statistic that could prove the indicator is the unbeaten record both teams have when scoring 18 or more points in their 2010 games.
Dragons have won 16/16 and the Roosters 14/14 – so whoever reaches the magic number 18 first will have this one in the bag according to the stat mad punters out there!
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Dragons $1.63 – Roosters $2.35 Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
This one is going to go down to the wire in a close thriller and we are tipping the momentum and happy-go-lucky Roosters to get one over the professional but less entertaining Dragons by 7 – 12 points at $7.50 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Dragons NRL Grand Final Team:
1. Darius Boyd 2. Brett Morris 3. Mark Gasnier 4. Matt Cooper 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Jamie Soward 7. Ben Hornby 8. Neville Costigan 9. Dean Young 10. Michael Weyman 11. Beau Scott 12. Ben Creagh 13. Jeremy Smith
Bench: 14. Nathan Fien 15. Trent Merrin 16. Matt Prior 17. Jarrod Saffy
Reserves: 18. Nick Emmett 19. Kyle Stanley 20. Jon Green 21. Luke Priddis
Roosters NRL Grand Final Team:
1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Joseph Leilua 3. Kane Linnett 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Todd Carney 7. Mithcell Pearce 8. Jason Ryles 9. Jake Friend 10. Frank Paul Nuuausala 11. Nate Myles 13. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Braith Anasta
Bench: 14. Martin Kennedy 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 16. Daniel Conn 17. James Aubusson
Reserves: 18. Nick Kouparitsas 19. Tom Symonds 20. Lopini Paea 21. Phil Graham