NRL Grand Final
  • Full preview and recommended bets from Steve Green
  • Steve’s tipping a much closer match than many think

Although Storm fans may feel as if they’re hard done by not playing in the Grand Final – considering they were the dominant team during the regular season – there’s no doubting the Raiders have earned the right to be here.

Over the past couple of months they’ve beaten the Storm in Melbourne (twice), beaten the Sharks at Cronulla and beaten the Souths last week. In all those games, they were the better team and the deserved winner.

Sydney Roosters: attacking powerhouse

There’s a reason the Roosters are big favourites here.

The Roosters are the best attacking team in the competition. The Roosters scored 23 tries more than the Raiders over the course of the regular season. I think that simple fact alone shows what the Raiders are up against. The Roosters scored 52 points in their two wins against the Raiders this year, so an average of 26 per game. If the Roosters score anywhere near 26 points in this game, it will be an easy win to the favourites.

The Raiders have to find a way to stop the speed and power of Keary, Tedesco and Mitchell. But they also need to find a way to stop the Roosters forward pack. The Roosters make more metres than any other team, averaging about 70 metres more than the Raiders per game. They also make more line breaks than any other team, averaging 5.6 per game to the Raiders 4.3 per game.

Canberra Raiders: the underdogs

The Storm conceded less tries than anyone, with only two per game… but the Roosters were only narrowly behind them with 2.3 per game. The Raiders were third best with 2.6 tries conceded per game.

The Raiders can grind as well as anyone.

With ten errors averaged per game, they’ve shown far better control and patience than the Roosters, who average 11.6 errors per game. The Raiders also get more penalties than the Roosters and concede less offloads. They have taken on Storm’s game plan and bettered it, due to the number of good attacking players they have.

What’s required for Canberra to win the premiership

To win this, the Raiders are going to have to try to force errors. When the Roosters make lots of errors, they often lose. Most of their losses this year have been accompanied with a massive 14+ errors.

If the Roosters give the Raiders field position, the Green Machine will show their flair and steal this Grand Final.

But I think the match will be a tough, desperate affair that will eventually go the way of the current Premiers. The Roosters have too much attacking class, and eventually I think the Raiders defence will get found out. I do think there’s a good chance that it is close right to the end, and I therefore think the Draw is good value again.

I think Wighton is going to have to be electric in this game for the Raiders to win, and alongside Papalli, he is a senior representative player that will be in the running for the Clive Churchill.

2019 NRL Grand Final: predicted score

Roosters 17

Raiders 16

2019 NRL Grand Final: best value bets

2 units: Raiders +7.5 ($1.90 at BetEasy)

0.5 Units: Draw at 80 minutes ($15 at BetEasy)

0.5 Units: Jack Wighton – Clive Churchill Medal winner ($13 at BetEasy)

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