• THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
NRL FINALS WEEK 4 PREVIEW
NRL GRAND FINAL
Roosters v Sea Eagles
Sunday, 06/10, 7:15PM, ANZ Stadium
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Mitchell Aubusson, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa
Sea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Jamie Lyon (capt), Steve Matai, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Justin Horo, Glenn Stewart. Interchange: David Gower, Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds, George Rose, James Hasson, Peta Hiku (2 to be omitted)
THE GRAND FINAL IS HERE!!
I’m absolutely pumped for this finale that will showcase two of 2013’s best teams on the biggest stage of them all.
The Roosters and Sea Eagles have met 3 times already this year and have played out 3 pretty close encounters that have had an average total game score of just 18 points.
The Roosters won all 3, 16-4, 18-12 and 4-0, but that doesn’t mean they’re a shoe in for the 4th and final clash. They’re opponents showed last week why they have to be taken seriously when they defeated the highly fancied Rabbitohs to advance to the Grand Final and Coach Geoff Toovey firmly believes his side was underestimated. The Roosters Coach Trent Robinson has done a fantastic job this year and a portion of success can be attributed to the fact that he does not allow his side to take any opponent lightly.
Other exciting factors in this Grand Final that it worth looking forward to are the various individual match ups. The halves battle is where the creativity is going to stem from with the Roosters and NSW pairing of James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce going head to head with QLD Rep and Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans who partners with New Zealand 5/8th Kieran Foran. Cherry Evans holds the edge in the kicking department but I’m certainly a fan of James Maloney’s running game which is quite capable of drawing goal line defender in before he puts a support man through a hole.
The forwards packs have plenty of quality players but once again it’s the head to head battle between Anthony Watmough and Sonny Bill Williams that I’ll be cherishing.
So which team to tip in the biggest NRL event of the year? I’m going with Manly who have all the big game experience with many players in the team having been involved in premiership victories back in 2008 and 2011, not to mention a loss in 2007. Even some of the Sea Eagles veterans have contested every final series going back to and including 2005. The hype surrounding such a big day will hardly affect them. But to state the obvious they must find a way through or around the Roosters’ defence. As I noted in scores earlier in this piece, the Roosters have kept Manly to a total of just 16 points in the last 3 matchups and have incredibly kept opponents to nil in 6 different games in 2013.
Can it be done? Yes. Will they do it? Time will tell. But one thing is for sure, whichever team hoists the premierships trophy aloft after the game will have truly earned the privilege.
Mike’s Tip: Sea Eagles
Mike’s Suggested Bets: Sea Eagles +2.5 (Centrebet)
Clive Churchill Medallist:
Sea Eagles: Kieran Foran
Roosters: Sonny Bill Williams
First Try Scorer:
Sea Eagles: Jorge Taufua
Roosters: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Thanks to all who have joined me throughout 2013
For those who are interested, here’s a breakdown within Sydney of who’s backing who in the Grand Final. Western Sydney has no love for the Roosters!
—— (data from Sportingbet) ——
Inner Sydney & Eastern Suburbs: 77% Roosters, 23% Sea Eagles
Southern Sydney: 70% Roosters, 30% Sea Eagles
Sydney North Shore & Northern Beaches: 29% Roosters, 71% Sea Eagles
Western Sydney: 16% Roosters, 84% Sea Eagles
Mike on the topic of match ups there’s a good article in the online Brisbane Times today about the history of Pearce and Foran, they go back to playing backyard footy against each other as kids. Not sure if everyone knew this already but it was news to me and a good read.
I like the Sea Eagles in this as well but as usual, you leaning that way as well gives me a bit more confidence. Not game to have a decent lash at this one though, it’s too close a call to be laying down big numbers against either team in my opinion.
As always, thanks very much for your always thoughtful and accurate insights this season. The bad part is we’ve got to find another sport we love to punt on each weekend now. Do you know anything about Golf? 🙂
Till next season, take care mate and good luck.
I remember in 2011 early in the season when Manly faced the Roosters and Kieran Foran smashed Pearce in a tackle!
Yeah its a tough one to bet on here. But I’m riding a pre season bet that I placed on Manly @ $15.
As for golf, I’m not too good on that topic, but I might start backing Jason Day from now on, he must be due for a win!
Take care Dicer 🙂