2018 NRL Grand Final

Sydney Roosters (1st) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) – Sunday night – ANZ Stadium

Sydney Roosters

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Daniel Tupou
  3. Latrell Mitchell
  4. Joseph Manu
  5. Blake Ferguson
  6. Luke Keary
  7. Mitch Aubusson
  8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  9. Jake Friend
  10. Siosiua Taukeiaho
  11. Boyd Cordner (c)
  12. Isaac Liu
  13. Victor Radley
  14. Dylan Napa
  15. Zane Tetevano
  16. Paul Momirovski
  17. Ryan Matterson

Melbourne Storm

  1. Billy Slater
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu
  3. Will Chambers
  4. Curtis Scott
  5. Josh Addo-Carr
  6. Cameron Munster
  7. Brodie Croft
  8. Jesse Bromwich
  9. Cameron Smith (c)
  10. Tim Glasby
  11. Felise Kaufusi
  12. Joe Stimson
  13. Dale Finucane
  14. Kenny Bromwich
  15. Christian Welch
  16. Brandon Smith
  17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona

* note that team line-ups are subject to change and will be updated as soon as possible

The Roosters have been the high-water mark in defence all year, and it's still holding. They've played two top four sides in the finals series and contained them both well. Last week they faced the team with the best attack this season. The Roosters were without their biggest forward (Napa), Taukeiaho was returning from injury, their most potent strike player and goal kicker was unavailable and the guy who leads them around played most of the game like the drummer from Def Leppard. Cronk defended on the right edge, exactly where the Rabbits have been at their attacking best all season. The Rabbits had more of the ball, a higher completion rate, more metres gained, more penalties, more tackle breaks and more metres with their kicking game. And for all of that...the best attacking team this season couldn't score a single try. That same Rabbitohs team played the Storm in Melbourne two weeks earlier...and scored five times. The Roosters and Storm met in Adelaide in round 16 and back then it was the Storm that prevailed thanks to a Cameron Smith field goal (9-8). Now people will point out to me that it's hard to use that game as a guide because the Storm were without Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Dale Finucane...and they would be right. Mind you the Chooks had half their engine room missing too (Cordnor, Waerea-Hargreaves, Aubusson and Matterson). It's not a perfect guide, but it's all we have, and that result tells us there isn't much between the sides. All those players that didn't play in Adelaide will be playing in the grand final, but the big difference is the obvious one. Cooper Cronk does for the Roosters what Smith does for the Storm. Cronk is the coolant that stops the Chooks engine from over-heating. He controls (or tries to control) the pace of the game and he tries to dictate where much of the game is played. In the absence of Cronk, which chicken puts their hand up for that role, and which chicken puts their hand up for a clutch field goal attempt in a grand final? The Storm have Smith (who did exactly that in the 1 point win in Adelaide), and the Chooks have a question mark. There is still the very slightest of chances that the Roosters are playing us all for a bunch of suckers – that the Cronk injury isn't what we all think it is and he can take the field with enough movement in the arm to kick and talk and hold his own in the defensive line. It would be quite the story if he did, and it's not a bad little tale for him to tell when he inevitably finds himself on the corporate speaking tour in retirement. He might play...but he probably won't. One player shouldn't make such a difference in a team game, but tell that to the Storm who lost a grand final 40-0 when Cameron Smith was suspended.

As we all know it's been a while since the NRL has seen a team win back-to-back premierships. I often speak of the NRL as being the most even sporting competition in the world...and it is. Since the Broncos won successive titles the AFL have had five teams win two in a row, the A-League (or equivalent) has had five, the English Premier League has had seven, the NFL three and the NBA ten. The Super Rugby has only been around since 1996 and they've had six since then. One of the strengths of our competition is that whatever team you support can, on their day, beat any other team in the competition. That's a great feeling to have before each and every game. It also speaks volumes about what the Storm are going to achieve on Sunday if they are to win. If they aren't the benchmark every season they are very close to it. They're an incredible team on the field and one of the best teams off the field. In a strange and foreign land, they have waved the rugby league flag and done so with good grace. They are hated by many, but unfairly I feel. A Cameron Smith field goal won the game in Adelaide, and he can do it again. It's all just a little bit of history repeating.

Verdict – Storm 17 : Roosters 16

First try scorer – Daniel Tupou

Clive Churchill Medalist – Cameron Munster

Result – Roosters 21 defeated Storm 6

Wally Lewis - grand final selection (in bold)

Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

  • Roosters vs STORM


mark ashford's picture

Can't thank you enough for the site. Living on my own in beautiful Bribie Island your site is like a friend always there when I turn on my laptop.
Will you put up an off season blog for us people who would like to stay in touch. would be appreciated.

Mary S's picture

I second that suggestion Mark. An off-season page would be great.

To The Thinker & TLH - thank you for having us, and all the work you do to make that happen is appreciated, probably more than you truly realise!

For the winners and place-getters of this seasons comp - congratulations to you all.

I entered the NRL site online comp this year for the first time and finished 11,286/102,397 - made me smile!!!!

Cheers to all,

christine 's picture

Thanks for the well wishes but I just wanted to inform you that you never get rid of ms you have it for life unfortunate but true ...

a's picture

I third that suggestion

christine 's picture

big pete
Message received hope your sight is much improved & you don't have any further problems look forward to conversing with you again next season but for now I am still around , I hate the off season a lot of you disappear till next season so the site goes quiet ...

Tuisova's picture

Great win by the boys.
Now I can focus on European rugby and watch Clermont win it all. Would be great to have my two favorites teams ( clermont , top 14 and roosters ) to be succesfull this year.

Really appreciated my time discussing here, you guys are very nice and not agressive at all as I can see in other forums.

I will try to participate to the tip competition next year.

Tuisova's picture

As suggested , it would be nice to have a page where we can discuss other rugby things like TOP14, european cups ..the season has just begun !

newbie from perth's picture

Sorry I’ve been “hiding” but got a bit busy with celebrating the 2 great GF wins on the weekend as well as rocking up to work today (while all of you slept in). Don’t really wanna take up all the space here but just need to acknowledge and thank some people. It’s the least I can do. Look, I’m gonna have to do this in dribs’n’drabs OK? Thank god for copy’n’paste technology (ha-ha). Bear with me…

newbie from perth's picture

@ Brad S

Given my love of “rambling on” I’ll try and keep this short. My young brother got roped into playing U15s for the Fremantle Roosters way back in the day. Absolute natural he was. Took to it like a duck to water. He played the second half of the season basically and got in the U15 State team and toured NSW and got to meet the First Grade Eastern Suburbs boys. I thought if he could do then so could I. Tried out for the U17s the following year. Played No.2 (I was pretty nippy back then) and we went through the season undefeated Grand Final winners blah blah blah. The boys I was up against were just too big (most of ‘em had moustaches and beards) and basically I wanted to preserve my “good looks” so I stopped playing and chased the girls so to speak. Young brother played on for another 8 years or so and managed to get semi-regular gigs in first grade (he was a merchant seaman for a while and was away 4-6 weeks at a time). Often wonder what he could’ve done had he not gone away to sea all the time. So, obviously my love for the BBB stems from playing for the Roosters WA counterpart. As simple as that.

Bradley, if you followed AFL for as long as I have, you might not recognise the game these days. I’ve had my “final dance” with AFL. Haven’t followed it at all this year (except for the GF last Saturday) and haven’t missed it one bit. But hey, if you’re diggin’ it then by all means keep watching. Each to their own brother. Well, this wasn’t that short’n’sweet was it? Man, I think I need help! Cheers.

@ Mr Ashford

Some may yell “heresy” but was never a fan of Elvis. Great entertainer but didn’t do it for me. With all the rest you were subjected to, I’m feelin’ your pain (ha-ha). Dave Clark 5 eh? From memory, I think my dear old Mum had some sort of link to Dave. Can’t remember exactly what it was but she did mention some sort of link. Maybe she went out with him or something, no idea. If she was still with us I would’ve asked but that’s not possible so the question will go unanswered I suppose.

Yeah, the gangsta rap thing is just a bit too angry for me and gives me bad vibes and I don’t like it either. My second SOTW just appeals because it’s got a “beat” that I dig. Meh, each to their own eh? Sorry to disappoint but no, didn’t have a drink to celebrate my BBB’s win. I just fist-pumped the air a few times and basked in the warm glow of delirious joy and contentment. Ah, life is kind sometimes. Cheers bro’.

Agree completely regarding the Roosters fans booing Billy. Totally uncalled for and please don’t tell me they did it ‘cos they’re “passionate”. That’s just not on. Billy’s a bloody champion in my book and I was taken aback when they started that crap. Thought it a sign of disrespect that was unwarranted. As Billy said, he’s used to it. Class act he is.

newbie from perth's picture

@ Mr Awesome

Feel free to put up those mini-novels my friend. More power to ya! Loved the advice you put Christine’s way too. Cheers.

@ Rick

Thanks mate, Yeah it was a pretty exciting game and pretty stoked it went our way. Phew! Thank goodness I taped it as well. Large parts of that game went MIA due to too much of those alcoholic drinks (ha-ha). Cheers.

@ Mary

Yeah, my feet are back on the ground (ha-ha), Couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome on the weekend. Pretty rapt to tell you the truth. I’ll enjoy it while I can as these things don’t happen all that often. And yes, I was indeed “crowing” all day today (Monday) at work. Annoyed everyone I could with how good both my boys’ were and gave them all blow-by-blow descriptions of key plays and moments etc etc. Yeah, all I have to do now is try and tip as well as TG and Rocket did this year. Big ups to them for being so consistent. Cheers Mary.

@ Big Pete

Yeah, might poke my head in from time to time (if the Boss puts up an off season page) just to see if anyone’s here. Cheers and go the Gunners!

Steel Panther's picture

Firstly congratulations to Tiger Girl in taking out the tipping comp. Well done to Rocket too who pushed hard all season.

Thanks as always to The Thinker for this great site and his able assistant TLH for all the behind the scenes work.

I realise that living in NZ it ain't easy to sort me out with a prize Thinker so I'd like to donate my winnings to Manyana. I couldn't quite do it in Mark's comp but I've come out with something in Thinker's comp. Hopefully I'll catch up with Manyana and Mark A if I make it to the Sunshine Coast next year. I haven't booked anything yet but late February is on the cards.

To everyone who comments on this site what a great bunch you all are. This year I must say it was good to see the respect when posters didn't always agree with each other.

manyana's picture

Hi Steel Panther, that's a lovely gesture, but NZ isn't all that far away.
I'm sure The Thinker can work out a way to get your prize to you.
He could even keep it if, & when, you come to the Sunshine Coast.
ATM we're thinking about coming to NZ around March/April next year, or, when my body let's me travel a bit more.
We'll be hiring a car & doing the Motel thing, but nothing is set in concrete yet.
The cruise was great, & we've cruised NZ before, but my friend is from Dunedin, & is keen for me to see more of your beautiful land.
Start looking for accommodation asap, as there are usually deals to be done after the Christmas rush.
Once again thanks for the lovely gesture, I know you tried very hard to select the winning teams, but it certainly wasn't easy. I hope we, and Mark, of course, can meet next year. Meanwhile I think we'll both have to do some extra study for the RL season next year. LOL.
Cheers for now, Manyana.

manyana's picture

Hi Christine, yes, I know all about ms, not a good thing to have.
I have chronic fatigue & I know how that knocks me around, & ms is a lot worse than CFS.
I still wish you well, & hope that you have at least a small improvement occasionally.
I enjoy what you write on this site.
Cheers, Manyana.

BigPeteBx's picture

Good evening/afternoon to you Newbie.
Please do poke your head in now and then during the off-season.
I didn't see much of it last one, as I had you written down on a sticker note, attached to my printer, that you would be about Thurs or Fri, if I wanted to post.

Maybe some BBL Cricket might get a few notes.

Well done to your WC/Eagles and it wasn't until it was nearly over.
But as I said in a previous post to you, I have followed Collingwood since high school days and that wasn't yesterday either.
I understand no responses at times, as the site builds up with that much in one slog, that we can tend to miss it.
Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete

BigPeteBx's picture

Great to hear from you Tuisova - I sent you a message last week, I think it was. But I understand that you don't visit the site very often.

Who do you follow in EPL, to follow European Cup etc?

Cheers mate and keep well - Big Pete in Bx Country.
If you wonder what Bx Country is - watch your tv this weekend, for none other than The Great Race.

BigPeteBx's picture

Thanks Christine for reply.
Eyes not too bad....checks next month.
Its ok, I check in during off-season, at least every or second day.
Lots doing now with A-League and BBL commencing. Of course EPL already into the 8th Round. So plenty of faves to follow and keep the interest up, along with personal emails and funnies that come my way.
Its a full time job.
Cheers and keep strong and well - Big Pete

mark ashford's picture

Sad to see Greg Inglis caught up in the drink driving charge.
Never would I condone driving after drinking and I thought Greg was smarter than that. It's cost him his captaincy and the next 2 games for Australia. A lesson all our RL players should take note of.
Greg is a great ambassador for indigenous RL.

mark ashford's picture

Hi all
Just wanted to say "thank-you" for being involved this year.
It's been a lot of fun. If your team fell short, as my Broncs did, then next year may change everything. Backing up for a GF win seems almost impossible so we are all in the mix 2019. Keep supporting your team no matter what. IMO it's the best game on the planet.

Tuisova's picture

Good morning ( at least here in France !) BigPeteBx,I've just saw your messages from last week, that's very kind of you.
Most of time , people's bashing each other on Internet forums, I'm actually really surprised to see much respect between the posters here and I saw the exemple with the way I was welcomed here.
A big respect for you all.

Concerning the champions cup, I will be 100 % behind the Rc toulon but this year they've been atrocious..coaching has been poor..they've been humiliated by average teams in the local championship...I hope thing turn around quickly because the team on paper is very scary( but I can't stand ANTHONY Belleau and I'm wondering how he's playing for the national team).

Mary S's picture

Hi Tuisova,
Welcome aboard.

I didn't know the team you mentioned, so did a Google search and found the following:

It is impressive the way you click on a player, and the picture flips to give additional information about the player on the 'back'. I was particularly interested to see the bio on your nemesis - Anthony Belleau.

All the best and look forward to further posts.

Mary S

BigPeteBx's picture

Great to hear from you Tuisova.

So tell me, if you can, how did you get the site name here Tuisova or does that come from another country and name. It never dawned on me that you were in France. Although we've had a couple from UK in tipping.
Sounds like u r a rugby man, as in 5 Nations Rugby & local French rugby along with Sydney Roosters as in NRL Australia.

Selection of team players can be a bit cagey at times. We often have similar incidences here in Australia, where players don't live up to their selection.

I'm a PSG man there, as in football/soccer. I have faves in most countries.

Our daughter has close friends in Nthn France, at a place called Colmar, slightly south of Strasbourg. She was there a couple of years ago through school visit.

Cheers and keep well - Big Pete

TigerGirl's picture

Wow another season over.
Thanks for letting me join in the tipping comp this year Thinker. I have followed for a number of year before joining the site. I really did not expect to be any where near the top let alone win. Thanks to everyone involved.
I’ve throughly enjoyed the comments and discussions.
I know I don’t have much to say but I do read everybody’s comments each week and enjoy the banter.
Reading hoping Tigers make the eight next year. Really frustrating with all this stuff about Ivan. I do hope he stays on our bus 🚌
I’m off soon on a cruise 🚢 to enjoy my other love music 🎶
7 nights of great music and an unlimited drinks 🍷🥂🍸🥃 package. Luckily I’ve got a second weeks holiday, I think I’m going to need it to recover. 🤪
For those who won’t be on here during the off season, stay safe and enjoy Christmas and New Year.

mark ashford's picture

Hi Tuisova
Do you live in France or on holiday.
I spent 10 days in Paris about 7 years ago before exploring Amsterdam and a lot of Germany. Paris was just incredible, such a beautiful city with so much history. My partner found a tiny apartment on the Ile de la cite with amazing views of Notre Dame (about 30 metres away) from our tiny kitchen window. Anyway enough of that. I'm sure Thinker would welcome you as a tipster next year, you just have to ask.

mark ashford's picture

You have had an incredible run to the top. I think it was coach who questioned your gender (is tigergirl a female or perhaps a male) Only he knows his agenda, maybe he has a problem with the fairer sex.
Enjoy your cruise and music. We will welcome you back here in 2019, you are the one to beat.
Oh be careful of that unlimited drinks package......you have to make it back to tip next year.

mark ashford's picture

Tuisova, is it by any chance your first name is Joshua?

Tuisova's picture

I was actually born in France ( Lyon) and I live in Toulon , great city of rugby( not this year though).
Yes France has a lot to offer in term of history , cooking...I found it funny that a lot of foreigners tend to love Paris, as I know it's not as great as people think it is, but it might be the same for every person living in a country, once you get used to it you forgot how cool it is .
I traveled a lot, I studied for one year in UK ( great land of rugby too) , in US (north carolina state university) and been in New zealand and Australia.
I am into rugby since I'm a kid , as my father was an old pro player and have fijian relatives. I follow NRL a lot as much as I can as the games of are approximatively between 10 Am and 12AM here most of time during work time ( don't tell my boss) .

Tuisova's picture

As I said to mark, I have fijian relatives since the name tuisova.
I'm actually following this website since 2016 but never thought to comment here.
Yes I love rugby , best sport in the world.
The main sport here in France is soccer but we have a lot of rugby history due to our championship considered as the best in Europe according to specialists.
PSG actually have a superteam, built by $$ but I don't get why a lot of people hate them for that.It's a grat step forward for our country to have superstars in our league. And it's not like it's downgrading the level of the countryborn here, as we we won the World cup this year.

Yeah I know Strasbourg, Colmar too,Northern cities, looks like a lot to Germany.France is very contrasted between its cities , you can go to Marseille and feel a lot of Mediteraneean energy and go to Strasbourg and feel like you are in Germany.

Tuisova's picture

Haha no but I actually spoke with him couple of times.Great guy.
Fijian players are a lot into religion, very humble person.

mark ashford's picture

There is a rugby union legend (the bus) who plays for Toulon. He was however born in Fiji. He must be a known to you and is he a relative.

mark ashford's picture

please ignore my 9.10 comment as I missed your previous reply.
I envy you living in France with access to lots of European countries.
I really enjoyed travelling through Germany, stayed away from Berlin and just enjoyed the country.
Enjoying chatting to you and looking forward to you joining our tipping comp next year.
keep well

Tuisova's picture

Yes mark as I said i had the opportunity to spoke with him as I go sometimes to open practices. He's a tank. Might be one of the best athletes I've ever seen. Shame he's not pu in the best conditions by his partners in Toulon.

My father might know some relatives to him but I don't think they are from the same areas.

By the way , are you guys all from Australia?

TigerGirl's picture

@ Mark Ashford, TigerGirl is female. Can’t change who I am 🤪

Mary S's picture

Good to know Tigergirl!!!
Have a great cruise.


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