Sunday’s NRL 2016 Grand Final match is between Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:15 local time with the game to be played at ANZ Stadium. The home team Melbourne Storm are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders.
When: 19:15 | Sunday 02/10/2016
Where: ANZ Stadium
TIP: Cronulla Sharks at $2.00
Value BET: TBA
Storm: 1 Cameron Munster 2 Suliasi Vunivalu 3 William Chambers 4 Cheyse Blair 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith 10 Jordan McLean 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14 Kenneth Bromwich 15 Tim Glasby 16 Christian Welch 17 Ben Hampton 20 Matthew White 21 Felise Kaufusi
Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton 2 Edrick Lee 3 Jarrod Croker (c) 4 Joseph Leilua 5 Jordan Rapana 6 Blake Austin 7 Aidan Sezer 8 Junior Paulo 9 Josh Hodgson 10 Shannon Boyd 11 Josh Papalii 12 Elliot Whitehead 13 Iosia Soliola. Interchange: 14 Kurt Baptiste 15 Luke Bateman 16 Paul Vaughan 17 Joseph Tapine
NRL GRAND FINAL KEY MATCH-UPS:
VALENTINE HOLMES (Sharks) v SULIASI VUNIVALU (Storm)
They were neck and neck all year, together with Canberra’s Jordan Rapana, for top tryscoring honours and now they’ll go toe-to-toe on the biggest stage. Holmes tops the list at Cronulla with 19 on the right edge, while Vunivalu’s 23 on the left edge broke former Storm sensation Israel Folau’s record for most tries in an NRL season by a rookie.
JAMES MALONEY (Sharks) v COOPER CRONK (Storm)
They’ll be wearing different numbers but there’s no doubting both players are the No.1 orchestrators for their teams in good-ball situations. Cronk’s numbers wipe the floor with Maloney’s in 2016, with the Storm general ahead on try assists (29 to 10), line break assists (22 to 10), tries (12 to seven) and tackle breaks (30 to 24).
MICHAEL ENNIS (Sharks) v CAMERON SMITH (Storm)
The NRL’s serial pest versus the game’s elder statesman. The emotion of Ennis’ farewell from the game will dominate talk in the build-up, although it will be countered by Smith’s trademark coolness under pressure. Ennis’ in-your-face style is in direct contrast to Smith’s calculated demeanour, and whoever dominates will be a telling factor in determining the winner.
ANDREW FIFITA (Sharks) v JESSE BROMWICH (Storm)
Another match-up of contrasts, with Fifita’s unorthodox front-row play baring little similarity to Bromwich’s effective footwork close to the line. Either way, both have provide the go-forward impetus for their respective teams. Fifita shades Bromwich for x-factor, highlighted by his superior tackle breaks (90 to 42) and offloads (66 to 43).
BEN BARBA (Sharks) v CAMERON MUNSTER (Storm)
The numbers alone make for tantalising reading, and set the scene for either to be a possible game-breaker. Barba edges Munster in tries (15 to 4) and try assists (21 to 12), but trails in line break assists (19 to 23) and tackle busts (97 to 114). Barba was once considered the heir to Billy Slater’s Queensland jersey, while Munster has done an outstanding job for the Storm in his absence.