Sydney Cricket Ground at 7:50PM (AEST) Saturday, September 28

The two sides are led by arguably the two greatest modern coaches in the game in the form of Trent Robinson (two Premierships and four Minor Premierships) and Craig Bellamy (three Premierships and countless first place finishes).

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Both clubs are also backed up strongly with world-class talent. Names such as Tedesco (16 tries and 13 try assists), Keary (22 try assists), Cordner (126m per game), Vunivalu (11 tries), Addo-Carr (16 tries) and Munster (15 try assists) all immediately come to mind. This really should be this season’s Grand Final, but unfortunately as fans of the game, we’ll have to settle for it as it is.

The last 10 clashes between these sides have seen them split down the line at five insane matches apiece. The average winning margin over those clashes has been only 9.70 points per game. However, that doesn’t paint the full picture of just how intense and closely contested these sides’ recent games have been. Last time out it was a 64th minute Cameron Smith penalty goal that separated the two in a 14-12 Melbourne victory. And before that, also this season, a Latrell Mitchell field goal won it 21-20 for Sydney in extra time. And that’s just the start of it. These sides put on a real show when pitted against one another.

In last season’s Grand Final, the Roosters claimed their 14th Premiership with an emphatic 21-6 win over Melbourne at ANZ Stadium. They forced Melbourne into 12 incomplete sets and allowed them only 45% possession of the ball. The boys from Bondi also had to make over 100 fewer tackles than the Melburnians did, 329 vs 433. Despite the Storm being one of the most dominant teams of the past decade, this last spectacular game of Rugby League means that the Roosters hold the mental edge and a huge advantage in this massive clash.

Latrell Mitchell is the key to this game for Sydney and Cameron Munster for Melbourne. Mitchell makes metres, scores tries and does absolutely everything that is asked of him. It’s a no wonder several teams are reportedly wanting to throw multi-million-dollar deals at him. And for Munster, he is a world-class halfback who is still relatively young at the age of 25. He directs games with extreme poise and skill and is a highly talented athlete who will keep Melbourne’s Premiership hopes alive for seasons and seasons to come. These freakishly gifted Rugby League players will define how the match is played and who wins and who suffers the utter agony of defeat.

Tip: Roosters to win 24-22.

Latrell Mitchell MOM.

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