2018 NRL Grand Final Preview & Betting Tips

September 26, 2018 by Posted in NRL Tips

Sydney Roosters vs Melbourne Storm (Sunday, Sep 30 7:20pm AEST)
The 2018 NRL Grand Final is here and what a matchup we will witness! Melbourne will take on Sydney in the decider at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night. This is a highly anticipated matchup as Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk takes on his former side. But the big question mark is whether Cronk will lineup. He suffered a serious shoulder injury in the Roosters victory over the Rabbitohs and was basically a passenger for the second half. His experience would be missed and does give Melbourne the advantage in this Grand Final. They had their own worries up until Tuesday night when Billy Slater was cleared of a shoulder charge. With his career on the line, Slater will be relieved and ready for his last ever NRL game. Melbourne are no stranger to the build up of the Grand Final as this will be their 3rd straight appearance. They’re coming off a comfortable win over the Cowboys last season and only just lost to the Cronulla Sharks in 2016, which was without Slater. Coming into this game, they’ve won both finals over the Rabbitohs and Sharks in two contrasting games at AAMI Park. The win over the Rabbitohs was a nail-biter as they came back to steal victory 29-28 – mainly thanks to Munster. Next up was the Sharks and they comfortably sealed a 16 point win on the back of their defence. They held the Sharks scoreless until the 68th minute and it was over from there. Slater was impressive as usual with a double and his trademark goal-line defence was on show. Cameron Smith was a workhorse in defence recording the most tackles. Will Chambers made his return from suspension and Nelson Asofa-Solomona successfully returned from injury off the bench. In terms of their lineup, the Storm look settled now that Slater has been confirmed as a starter. There could be a hard luck story for Ryan Hoffman as he’s not listed and will retire after this game. The Roosters will be hurting if Cronk doesn’t play but the form of Luke Keary should help. He led them well in the second half against the Rabbitohs last week and will be the key for the Roosters attack in the Grand Final. The other factor will be their defence. They’re the #1 ranked defence in the NRL this season and it’s shown up in the finals. They conceded 12 points against the Sharks in week 1 and kept the Rabbitohs attack to a single try last week. So look for the Roosters to focus on defence as they tackle the Storm attack. In good news, the return of Latrell Mitchell and Dylan Napa is a huge boost. Mitchell is fast becoming the best centre in the game and will be a tough matchup for the Storm’s outside backs. Napa hasn’t played for a while but will be critical in this forward battle.

The recent meetings between the Storm and Roosters says this will be a close final. They met in Round 16 and in a tense battle, the Storm just got over the line by a Cameron Smith field goal. The previous clash was back in Round 13, 2017 and the Storm again prevailed by 3 points. 2015 was the last time they met in a final and it was another close game, going 20-18 to the Storm. So the trend between these two sides is close finishes and that should see the either team bet salute in this Grand Final matchup. The 8.5 margin has saluted in the last 3 clashes. Melbourne’s last Grand Final against a Sydney side ended in a 2 point margin. I think these two sides are pretty similar in terms of their defence and I don’t see a blowout.

TIP: Either team by under 8.5 points $2.10 at BetEasy


Written by Bet King - Sports Betting Tips

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