The biggest day of the Australian sport year (sorry AFL) is today. The grand final for the NRL Telstra Premiership 2013. It’s the battle of the beaches as the Sydney Roosters take on the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
In their three previous encounters earlier in the year, the Sydney Roosters were victorious entirely. 16 – 4. 18 – 12. 4 – 0. All of these games were evidently close as the two opposing sides have been feared by the other teams throughout the year. Could the minor premiers continue their roll over the Eagles or could Manly prove that it isn’t “three’s a charm” but maybe four?
The Eagles – if not proven by their stellar finals record in the past few years – are a finals footy kind of team. Premiers in 2011 and 2008 and also in 2007 due to “that Melbourne Storm thing”, Manly will always be finals favourites in the current decade with their consistently outstanding form and firm leadership by Centre of the Year Jamie Lyon. Two of the most noteworthy players in the Manly side are halves Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans and, with the aid of immortal Andrew “Joey” Johns, these two players will be the main catalyst in a Sea Eagles winner.
On the other hand, the Chookies have been the team to beat in the 2013 season. It is no wonder that rookie coach Trent Robinson won the Coach of the Year award at this year’s Dally M’s since he has seemed to resurrect the Chookies from their otherwise mediocre years recently. I can’t stress enough how excellent the acquisitions of Sonny Bill Williams and James Maloney have been for the Roosters as both have been freaking awesome. In contrast to Foran, the one five-eighth that could challenge him in the whole competition would be Maloney. It’d be interesting to see the two go up against each other tonight.
SolSat’s Prediction: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles by 4
This has been without a doubt the hardest game to predict. Both teams are equally in top form and this grand final is sure to be a solid outing from both squads. Basing my pick purely on finals experience, I’m backing the Eagles to win this one in a tight game with not many points hitting the scoreboard. Even though I personally like the Roosters more, the Eagles know what to do when it comes to finals and will no doubt deliver in tonight’s final with yet another Telstra Premiership to add to their already illustrious history.
Even though my beloved Broncos aren’t in the final – or any final that matter, sadface – this has been one of the most anticipated grand finals in recent years and I’m bloody excited to watch a solid game of footy tonight! Noah out.
– by Noah La’ulu