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CLICK HERE to see our footage from the Roosters' first public training session at the SFS on Monday.

They head into the grand final as red hot favourites but former premiership-winning halfback Greg Alexander believes St George Illawarra’s no-frills attack could come back to bite them when they face the in-form Sydney Roosters this Sunday.

And he is not alone, with Roosters captain Braith Anasta adamant his side is ready to turn the tables after falling to a narrow 19-12 loss the last time the two sides met in Round 22.

Anasta told that rather than drop their heads after that loss two months ago, the Roosters instead realised they had what it takes to go all the way just 12 months after finishing with the wooden spoon.

“We dropped way too much ball that day and we were still in it until the last minute of the game,” the 28-year-old said today.

“We defended really well against them but made a couple of errors and they scored, which is what they thrive on.

CLICK HERE to see Ben Creagh slice through the Roosters' defence in Round 22.

“But we walked away from that game believing that if we played them again we’d give them a good run for their money.

“We didn’t lose any confidence out of that game and that belief is still there for us – we’re not going into the grand final thinking we’re playing someone that’s out of our league, that’s for sure!”

Anasta described last week’s impressive 32-6 win over the Gold Coast as one of the Roosters’ two best performances of 2010 but insisted there was plenty more to come.

“Our defence was really good on the weekend and that’s what will win us the game on the weekend too,” he said.

“But we don’t think we’ve played our best footy all year… I think maybe the Parramatta game (a 48-12 win in Round 21) was our best game, and the Titans game on the weekend.

CLICK HERE to see the Roosters' backline at its devestating best against the Titans.

“If we play our best on Sunday we’ll be tough to beat.”

However, Alexander said that St George Illawarra’s greatest enemy could be themselves, as they continue to rely on their rock solid defence to win games.

The former NSW and Australian half was far from convinced by the Dragons’ narrow 13-12 win over Wests Tigers last Saturday and believes they could struggle to recover should the Roosters get off to a flyer in the grand final.

Ironically, Wayne Bennett’s men have typically struggled to score points early in 2010 – ranking 13th in the NRL for first-half points scored (237) and having crossed for more than one try in the opening 20 minutes of a game just once in their past 18 outings.

“They’ve got some very good finishers on their extreme edges but looking at their game against the Tigers, when they had trouble getting to those extreme edges there wasn’t much doing,” Alexander said.

“The difference between the two sides when you talk about points – the points from the Roosters come from their two halves and their ability to shift the ball.

“That’s the problem for the Dragons.

“I mean, they wouldn’t want to get 12 points behind, would they?

“If the Roosters can defend like they did last Friday night, you’d have to favour them simply because they’ve got blokes that can spark things.”

The Dragons, though, are famous for doing what they do best and have built a formidable record in 2010 around keeping it simple and repelling everything their opposition can throw at them.

While they rank 14th in the NRL for offloads this season, their ruthless defence is the best in the competition for tries conceded (2.1 per game), points conceded (12pg), line-breaks conceded (3.2pg) and missed tackles (26.5pg).

“Carney and Pearce will ask the Dragons a thousand questions and the other blokes [Hornby and Soward] won’t – but then they haven’t built their game around that,” Alexander said. “They’ll stick with what they know and hope that’s good enough to get them home.”

And so, it seems, that it comes down to the Roosters’ blistering attack against St George Illawarra’s stifling defence – with a few unknowns thrown in for good measure.

“And you’re probably right, too,” Anasta agrees. “But I think defence will be what wins the game for both sides.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our attack but we’re slowly building confidence in our defence too and that’s what we’re working towards.”