NRL GRAND FINAL
Roosters v Storm
The number one and two sides of the regular season square off here in what promises to be a huge defensive battle filled with high emotion given the imminent retirement of Slater and the fact the Storm are vying to be the first side in nearly three decades to win back to back premierships.
The Slater judiciary circus was a big distraction early in the week which is understandable given what a pivotal part of the Storm side he is with his inclusion firming them up as favourites as he is playing in close to career-best form.
Cronk has been named in the reserves for the Roosters but given how badly injured his shoulder looked in the second half last week it would seem highly unlikely he’ll take the field which is a huge blow as he is the chief organiser of so much of the Roosters attack and defence.
The Storm forwards have been uncompromising in the finals thus far and will handle the Roosters pack, meanwhile the masterclass of Smith at the ruck and the quality he has to draw on in the backs places the Storm as winners here for mine, they’re simply too well organised and will not lack motivation and emotion as they send Slater deservedly out a champion.
We’ll take the Storm to cover the line and for Slater to win the Clive Churchill medal. Pick - 4 units on Storm -2.5 point start; 2 units on Billy Slater to win the Clive Churchill medal.