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Grand final winner: NRL.com experts have their say

Who will win the 2019 NRL grand final? Can the Roosters make it back-to-back premierships or will be Raiders spring an upset. 

The experts at NRL.com have their say on who which team will be celebrating on Sunday night.

NRL.com experts view

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

The Roosters have timed their run to perfection and will win because of the calibre of the players they have and their strike weapons. Jared Waerea-Hargeaves' return will be crucial. With their spine on fire and Latrell Mitchell waiting to strike, they have it all. Roosters by 12

Brett Kimmorley (Former NSW halfback)

I see the Roosters winning. The forward packs will challenge each other and effectively level each other out, and the outside backs are also very similar in that way. The difference will be in the halves where Keary and Cronk have a lot of experience compared to Jack Wighton and Aidan Sezer. The key moments in the match will come from those two positions. Roosters by 8

Tedesco ready to be most disliked Rooster by Raiders fans

Jamie Soward (Premiership winner)

The Roosters won't be overawed by the occasion and have enough firepower to put a match-winning score on the board. To top that off, they also have the tenacity to defend their line for extended periods. Roosters by 8 

Alicia Newton (NRL.com reporter)

The Raiders will ride the wave of support and come out firing but I expect the Roosters to repel them before breaking away late. Their defensive commitment will prove too much. Roosters by 12

Leilua: It felt like another heartbeat in my leg

Margie McDonald (NRL.com senior reporter)

The Raiders. Who doesn’t love a fairytale? Penrith in 2003; the Wests Tigers in 2005; Cowboys in 2015; Sharks in 2016. Let's spread the Provan-Summons trophy around and give it to a club that's hasn't had a victory in over a quarter of a century. Raiders by 1

Zac Bailey (NRL.com reporter)

The Raiders. They have nothing to lose and Ricky has instilled his team with the belief to overcome any challenge. That will give them the confidence they can defy the odds againt. Josh Hodgson, John Bateman, Josh Papalii, Joe Tapine and Jack Wighton have given the Raiders a hard edge that can unsettle the Roosters. Raiders by 4

Michael Chammas (NRL.com chief reporter)

The Sydney Roosters played their grand final against the Melbourne Storm a few days ago in what was one of the most physical encounters of the season. Don't underestimate the toll that will have. Then there's the likelihood this will feel like a home game for the Raiders. Raiders by 2

Chris Kennedy (NRL.com reporter)

The premiers have a very ominous feel about them. They looked in control almost the whole way last weekend and, scarily, can play a lot better. The Raiders need everything to go right and even then the Roosters' big-game experience dwarves that seen in the Green Machine. Roosters by 8

Focus driving 'robotic' Cronk's grand final glory

Dan Walsh (NRL.com reporter)

The experience and game management skills of the Roosters' halves will prove the difference. James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell are both capable of breaking the game wide open and winning it on their own. Roosters by 6

Brad Walter (NRL.com senior reporter)

Sydney Roosters. The premiers are an even better team than they were in 2018 and are set to be at full strength for the first time this season. The Roosters attack has the potential to trouble the Raiders. The Tricolours defence is so well organised it is so difficult to see Ricky Stuart's men scoring many points. Roosters by 6

It's anyone's game

Joel Gould (NRL.com reporter)

Defensively, this is the best Raiders side in many a year. The faith each and every player has in the other was evident in finals wins over Melbourne and South Sydney, and that mindset will no doubt be on show against the Roosters. Josh Papalii's clout, Josh Hodgson's smarts and the winning mentality of John Bateman will inspire the Raiders to victory. Raiders by 2

Paul Suttor (NRL.com editor)

There is a sense of the 2003 Panthers about Canberra this year - they are underdogs, up against a star-studded Roosters side defending its title and they have no clear star but a range of top-quality players who can break a game open. If the Raiders can negate the Sydneysiders in the middle of the field during the opening exchanges, they have the street smarts to cause a boilover. Raiders by 4

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League)

I want to believe in fairy tales, but I can't see the Raiders beating the Roosters. The Roosters have been the most impressive side this year for many reasons; their impenetrable defence and a backline that can create magic anywhere on the field. They'll be boosted by the return of Jared Warea-Hargreaves. Roosters 8

Brett Keeble (NRL.com reporter)

The Roosters just look composed and complete across the board, especially in the key play-making positions. The Raiders would have to do everything right, and hope a lot goes wrong for the Roosters. Roosters by 14

Graham's favourite grand final moment

Maria Tsialis (Big League editor)

The Roosters' class and finesse has been widely talked about but as we saw last week, their defensive commitment is remarkable. They've rarely had more than two tries per game this year put on them and I think that will be the key to keeping the Raiders at bay. Roosters by 6

Tanisha Stanton (NRL.com reporter)

The time has come for the Raiders. They have never looked so dangerous. Their defence and starving the Roosters of possession will win them this game. Josh Papalii needs to produce another performance like last week. Jarrod Croker also can't afford to miss any kicks at goal. Raiders by 2

Lone Scout (NRL Fantasy expert)

The Roosters are coming off a bruising encounter with Melbourne but they remain the most talented team in the competition, and they know what grand final week is all about after blitzing the Storm in last year's decider. They should be too good for the underdog Raiders here. Roosters by 10

Harbour Bridge lit up in grand final week

Troy Whittaker (NRL.com reporter)

Trent Robinson labelled Canberra "conservative" before round 21, saying his Roosters "know how to defend" their style. The Chooks won that clash 22-18. With more attacking threats on deck, they're poised to go back-to-back. Roosters by 2

Tony Webeck (NRL.com reporter)

I’m a sucker for a fairytale premiership. Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Sharks, there's joy to be found in them all and now it's the Raiders turn. The universe will make it so, despite the quality within the Roosters squad. Raiders by 4

Corey Rosser (NRL.com reporter)

While they're more than capable of staying in the arm wrestle for 80 minutes, I worry about Canberra's lack of a clear star player - outside of Josh Hodgson - who can come up with a big play when the game is on the line. The Tricolours have no such issue in that department, and I think some Tedesco, Mitchell, Keary or Cronk magic could be the difference on Sunday. Roosters by 6

Lauren Pritchard (NRL.com office's resident Raiders fan)

It's been 25 long years but the Green Machine is back in top gear - the forwards are hunting as a pack, the backs have been combining brilliantly out wide and Jack Wighton's switch to the halves has been a masterstroke from Ricky Stuart. Raiders by 8 

Sarah Foundouradakis (NRL.com office's resident Roosters fan)

Roosters, Roosters, Roosters. Too much class, too much big-game experience, too good. Roosters by 24

Kenny Scott (NRL.com podcaster)

On the surface of it, this looks like a win for the Roosters, but delve a little deeper and the reasons why this is Canberra's look compelling. A tight group of tough players with the right amount of attacking sparkle. A feelgood underdog story. The fact that the Raiders have narrowly lost to the Roosters twice this year already, meaning they’ve got the knowledge and knowhow to understand where they went wrong. Raiders by 2

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.