This Sunday, October 2, the 2016 NRL Grand Final decider plays out at ANZ Stadium in Sydney between Minor Premiers the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks chasing their first ever title.
NRL Grand Final 2016
- When: Sunday October 2, 2016
- Kick-Off: 7:15pm (AEDT)
- Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
- Who: Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks
- Last Grand Final: Melbourne (2012); Cronulla (1997 Super League)
- Premiership Titles: Melbourne (2, plus 2 stripped); Cronulla (0)
- Head-to-Head History: Melbourne 21 wins, Sharks 10 wins from 31 played (since 1998)
- Last Clash: Melbourne 26 – 6 Cronulla – Round 26, 2016
- The Odds: Melbourne Storm $1.88 – Cronulla Sharks $2.12 @ Ladbrokes.com.au
The Sharks are out to make history with their first ever Rugby League Premiership win playing in their fourth Grand Final and first since losing Brisbane in the 1997 Super League decider.
NRL Grand Final Tip: Back Suliasi Vunivalu to score first try @ $8 through Ladbrokes.com.au!
All the experience then lies with the Melbourne Storm, but they remain only narrow favourites in the NRL Grand Final betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
It’s been an incredible season for the Sharks to qualify for a Grand Final appearance after so many fans wrote them off, especially after their Wooden Spoon effort just two years ago.
The Provan-Summons trophy is just one win away, but the Storm shape-up as a really tough and experienced team to beat.
- Win Rate at ANZ Stadium: Storm (71%) vs Sharks (32%)
- Win Rate for 2016 NRL Season: Storm (81%) vs Sharks (73%)
There are plenty of stats that stack-up in favour of Cronulla leading up to Sunday.
They have scored more tries than Melbourne this season (106 – 101) and goals (100 – 92), but are particularly dangers when it comes to offloads with 333 to the Storm’s 250 for the year to date.
What really goes against the Sharks though is their dismal record against Melbourne over the years.
From the past 15 games played between these two, Cronulla have won just two.
The Storm have been defeated only five times in 2016, but Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith ready to go in the Grand Final they won’t be suffering a sixth without a real fight.
Cronulla’s entire Grand Final team have played in only eight Grand Finals, while Cronk and Smith alone tally up nine decider appearances.
Add to the fact that Sharks skipper Paul Gallen has played in a winning side against Melbourne since 2008, and there’s some big hoodoos for Cronulla to overcome.
There is no doubting that the Craig Bellamy-coached Melbourne outfit are ruthless, clinical and experiences.
But it’s not quite time to write of Shane Flanagan’s boys who are out to make history who have plenty of attacking prowess in the likes of centre Jack Bird and prop Andrew Fifita.
The Sharks strung the big winning streak together but slumped late in the season before digging deep during Finals Footy.
They’ll need to dig deep again on Sunday though playing the only club in the NRL for 2016 to hit over 80% in completions.
Completing sets is the key to winning games and the Storm have led the way in this.
The NRL Grand Final odds reflect more so than the stacked-against-the-Sharks statistics how close this is likely to be.
If Melbourne get out to an early lead, the fairy tale is over for Cronulla, but if they can hold on in the first half this could come down to just four points.
Flip a coin and get your money tipping the Storm’s Suliasi Vunivalu ($8) for first try scorer for an early value bet at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost Extra (T&Cs apply).
*All odds quoted are provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change