Key match-ups: The men who'll decide the title

Every match of the season has had it’s key match-ups. Every week, players line up on opponents who may be considered better than them, stronger than them, faster than them, hoping to get the job done.<br><br>In a Grand Final, these match-ups are amplified, as two teams with everything to play for look to shift the ball to their attacking weapons, or rely upon their defensive dynamos to make a mountain of tackles.<br><br>Often, if a team can dominate in just a handful of these key one-on-one match-ups, they’re well on the way to gaining the upper hand.<br><br>This weekend we at NRL.com have highlighted these match-ups, selecting who we believe to be the ‘X-Factor’ players in what is sure to be a blockbuster at a sold-out ANZ Stadium on Sunday evening.<br><br><b>Joel Reddy Vs Greg Inglis</b><br><br>The difference in the Storm since Greg Inglis returned has been amazing, they have re-discovered their potent attacking rhythm and spark.<br><br>Is it all because of him? Yes, he is that special.<br><br>Whilst there is no doubting Joel Reddy’s immense talent, he has been charged with what can be described as the most difficult job in the NRL. Stopping the destructive force that is Inglis. <br><br>Inglis is the reigning representative player of the year, a renowned big game player, former Clive Churchill medallist (‘07) and nearly unstoppable close to the line.<br><br>The Storm will go to him often, as they attack Parramatta’s right hand side defence and look for the much bigger Inglis, who tips the scales at 99kgs - a seven kilo weight advantage on Reddy - to monster him. <br><br>Even if he doesn’t, there still may be chances for winger Dane Nielsen as Eels winger Eric Grothe is prone to coming in off his wing. If Grothe does this, the offload is on and Nielsen becomes a factor.<br><br>Reddy is one of the game’s best defensive centres, but even his staunch defensive skills will need to be at their very best. <br><br>The Breakdown: <br>Tries scored Inglis 15 leads Reddy 11. <br>Line breaks Inglis 19 leads Reddy 13.<br>Run metres Inglis 2689 leads Reddy 1872<br>Effective Tackle Percentage Inglis 88% leads Reddy 82%<br><br>The Verdict: Gun defensive centre that he is, Joel ‘Rocket’ Reddy will need to play the game of his life. If he is able to weather the tornado that is Inglis, then Parramatta go very close to winning this game.<br><br>If he doesn’t - then the Storm could hold the upper hand out wide. Inglis to shade Reddy.<br><b><br>Fuifui Moimoi Vs Brett White</b><br><br>Every Grand Final seems to have two tearaway props who don’t care what they do to their bodies as they search for Premiership glory. In the 2009 edition, these two are those men.<br><br>Parramatta’s Tongan torpedo will look to crash like a wrecking ball through Melbourne’s front line defence time and time again. If Martin Lang was the reckless runner of the 90’s, then surely Moimoi is the naughties version - albeit harder to knock out.<br><br>Standing in the purple corner (sounds tough doesn’t it) will be Melbourne’s enforcer Brett White, the man who felled Steve Price in Origin and stood there smiling through a bloodied mouth. Yep, White loves it; he lives for this sort of stuff. The harder, the better for the Storm prop… and he won’t take a backward step.<br><br>Whichever of these men can bend the opposition line the most in the early stages of the game will get their team on the front foot, which will be a huge advantage as the game wears on.<br><br>The Breakdown:<br>Tackle Busts Moimoi 76 leads White 31<br><br>The Verdict: Moimoi is having a huge season and on form may just shade White, who - despite a delayed start to his year - has hit form. It should be a great battle and fans should enjoy watching these two mix it up.<br><b><br>Nathan Hindmarsh Vs Ryan Hoffman</b><br><br>The two second rowers play completely varying styles of football. Hindmarsh has been dubbed the new Mr. Perpetual Motion - in the grand scheme of things he is Parramatta’s workhorse and so often their saviour. <br><br>He makes tackles he has no right to make, on much quicker men, in positions on the field where he simply shouldn’t pop up. He also has a handy offload and when he does pop the ball away, invariably it find the mark.<br><br>Hoffman, on the other hand, is everything Hindmarsh is not. He’s a fringe running back rower who is prone to making a lot of metres, busting the line and hitting the hole at pace on the Storm’s left side of attack.<br><br>He has struck up a dangerous combination with Parramatta discard Brett Finch, and is capable of turning up on the big day. He also wants his rep jumpers back and will be out to prove a point on the grandest stage of them all.<br><br>The Breakdown:<br>Offloads made Hindmarsh 48 leads Hoffman 31<br>Tackles made Hindmarsh 1055 leads Hoffman 574<br>Line breaks made Hoffman 8 leads Hindmarsh 3<br>Runs made Hoffman 346 leads Hindmarsh 342<br><br>The Verdict: There is no doubting both back rowers have a huge work ethic, and while Hoffman is more of a game-breaker, Hindmarsh is a game-saver. Both have been superb of late, but Hindmarsh has been in vintage form. He might just win this battle.<br><br><b>The X-Factor:</b> Without a doubt the wildcard in this game will be Eels’ super-sub, Feleti Mateo.<br><br>While Parramatta’s manic offloading has reached a dangerous level, Mateo is the man who does it better than anyone else in the NRL. He nearly always gets his arm free to throw what seems like yet another impossible ball.<br><br>He has made 40 offloads from just 13 games, which is an average of 3.1/game.<br><br>Since his return from injury, Mateo’s form has been slowly building and his impact on games has been growing. This might just be the day that Feleti wins it for Parramatta - and Nathan Hindmarsh agrees.<br><br>“Feleti has been playing very well for us and he has to be the X Factor in the game. He’s a starting back rower or five-eighth, but because he got injured and the way other guys have been playing, he is coming off the bench. He’s a freak of a player, everyone else gets two support runners around them, Feleti has five or six! That’s how good he is. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins it for us on Sunday.”<br><br>Whilst Mateo could win it for Parramatta, he is a wildcard and could just be the man who comes up with a silly offload in the wrong area. <br><br>He did it against the Dragons, early in the finals, offloading in his own 20 metre area - and if he does that against Melbourne there is every chance they could pounce and punish Parra.<br><b><br>The Prediction:</b> Whilst the last two Grand Finals have been absolute blowouts. Matches between these two sides have recently been close affairs and this Grand Final will be no different.<br><br>The Storm will be desperate to win a second Premiership, in an era in which they have been dominant, but with the majority of a sold-out ANZ Stadium to be clad in blue and gold and with a tonne of sentiment behind them, I’m going with the exciting Eels by two points.<br><br>As for the Churchill Medal, you have to go back to 1993 before you find a member of the losing side won one and that was Brad Mackay of the Dragons. <br><br>If Parramatta wins the game I’m going to go with Nathan Hindmarsh. If it’s the Storm, Cameron Smith appeals, especially given the form he is in.<br><br>Bring on the Grand Final!<br>