Forget Brisbane or North Queensland, Mal Meninga’s tip for the NRL premiership is the in-form Sydney Roosters.
Despite his status as Queensland’s State of Origin coach, Meninga believes the Roosters have the edge over the two Queensland clubs with the finals in sight.
The Roosters were the only of the NRL’s top four to win over the weekend as the Broncos, Cowboys and South Sydney all fell in upsets.
Meninga says Trent Robinson’s men look the goods after their eighth straight victory over Newcastle on Sunday – with the Roosters having gone on to win the premiership the past two times they’ve gone on such a run.
“They’re probably the best balanced team in the competition,” Meninga said.
“In my view they’re probably the favourites. We’ve got a lot of good teams running around at the moment, that’s the beauty of our competition.
“We’ve got so many hunting for that final eight position at the moment as well. The competition’s close, so once again that’s exciting.”
Meninga has also dismissed the suggestion Queensland should one day host the NRL grand final, saying venues such as Sydney’s ANZ Stadium or even the MCG are the most appropriate locations for the game’s showpiece event.
“Grand finals deserve 80-90-100,000-plus stadiums,” he said.
“We’d pack it out here definitely but at this stage you look at the stadiums down in Sydney or elsewhere, in my mind (they) are more of an option.”