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Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm
The 2018 NRL Final will feature 2 of the giants of the NRL facing off against each over as the Sydney Roosters take on the Melbourne Storm in front of 80,000+ fans at the ANZ Stadium and the great news for all Rugby fans and for sporting fans in general is that you can watch all of the action live online via our NRL Grand Final 2018 live streaming partners.
Both teams impressed in the preliminary finals but both have also suffered in the end of season play-offs. The Roosters have big doubts over a couple of big name players with former Storm half back and Australian international Cooper Cronk the biggest doubt with a shoulder injury.
The Storm will spend the week worrying over the availability of star full back Billy Slater who may have avoided a potential sending off and a certain yellow card in their win over Cronulla but it is highly unlikely that he will avoid a ban for a blatant shoulder charge that saved a try for the Storm.
These 2 sides have only met once so far in 2018, with the Storm defeating the Roosters by a single point in a low scoring game that could be replicated in this grand final.
Both sides are certainly better in defence than attack but with so much quality going forward, that is not to say that these 2 aren’t quality with the ball in hand as well.
The 2 sides met 3 times last season, with the biggest margin of victory been just 5 points and whilst the Storm have won 5 of the last 7 matches between these 2, there has only been 1 blowout score which came back in 2016.
As you would expect from the 2 sides to make it through to the NRL Grand Final, these 2 are in good form.
The Roosters have won 8 of their last 10 matches and each of their last 3.
The Storm have won 7 of their last 10 matches and 4 of their last 5.
With this game been played at the neutral former Olympic Stadium, although with the game been played in Sydney, the Roosters will likely have the bigger share supporters in the crowd, although neutral Sydney fans may side with the Storm, both team teams will be relieved that their away form is strong at the moment.
Both teams come in the 2018 NRL Grand Final having won 7 of their last 10 on the road.
Mitch Aubusson has been given the half back shirt vacated by Cooper Cronk but with the superstar named at number 23, the Roosters will Cronk until the last minute to prove his fitness.
Rising star Latrell Mitchell returns at centre so Dylan Napa drops onto the bench with Lindsay Collins in reserve. Victor Radley starts at prop with Paul Momirovski on the bench.
Billy Slater retains the number 1 jersey for the Storm as NRL officials somehow allow the retiring former Kangaroo to play in an unchanged Storm side.
As a Grand Final should be, this is an incredibly difficult match to predict.
Both teams are rammed with international quality stars and some of the biggest names in the world and perhaps most importantly, aside from doubts over Cronk, both teams are at full strength.
The Storm are used to playing in big games and Grand Finals but it has been 5 years since the Roosters last had the chance to win the title in the NRL.
Despite that, they do have lot’s of experience of big internationals and many of their players have played in massive crowds at the international and State of Origin level.
Without Cronk, the Rooster shave lacked a certain edge in attack and that is where the Storm have the advantage in this one. Melbourne have managed to play a stable team for much of the season and with their highly structured style, that Craig Bellamy style is now perfected for this team and in a match such as the Grand Final, which is all about playing your game and not playing the occasion, that will likely be the big difference.
The Roosters rely much more on their forwards to get them into attacking positions where they can rely on the likes of Mitchell to score but again without Cronk, that will be a huge challenge against the strong defensive set up of the Storm.
Score Prediction Melbourne Storm by 8