10 Reasons Why The Roosters Will Win

Sunday's NRL Grand Final is shaping as an absolute blockbuster... but just which team will come out on top?<br><br>The experts are torn, the odds are tight and both sets of form lines look ominous. It's certainly a tough one to predict, so to make it a little eaiser for you, we've come up with 10 reasons why the Sydney Roosters will win the 2010 Telstra Premiership.<br><br>Don't worry Dragons fans! Tomorrow we'll provide our 10 reasons why the St George Illawarra Dragons will claim that elusive title.<br><br>So here they are...<br><br><b>10 Reasons Why The Roosters Will Win</b><br><b><br>1. Away They Go!</b><br>Impressively, the Roosters have won all around the country in 2010, so a quick trip out to Homebush on Sunday should hold no fears for Brian Smith’s charges. They won 10 games on the road for only the sixth time in club history (better even than their seven wins at home). Significantly, every time they’ve achieved this mark they have wound up in the grand final – including back-to-back premierships in 1974-75 and also their most recent flag in 2002.<br><br><b>2. Better By Halves</b><br>Skipper Braith Anasta, reformed bad boy Todd Carney and rejuvenated youngster Mitchell Pearce have scored 23 tries between them when playing in the halves this year. That’s the third-highest yield of four-pointers in Roosters history and the most since Brett Finch, Brad Fittler and Craig Wing combined to reap a massive 28 back in 2003.<br><br><b>3. Hot Toddy</b><br>Dally M Medal winner Carney has been on fire all season and things shouldn’t be any different come Sunday – regardless of the fact the award has been somewhat of a ‘poisoned chalice’, with Matt Orford the only winner in the past 25 years to collect both the award and a premiership in the same year (in 2008). The game represents a wonderful opportunity for Carney to etch his name in the Roosters’ annals – he requires just one point to equal Mike Eden for the most points scored by a Rooster during a season (256, achieved back in 1983). <br><br><b>4. Simply Braith-taking</b><br>Just one more try this weekend is all it will take to rocket back-rower Braith Anasta to legend status. Last week he became only the fourth Rooster to cross for a try in three consecutive finals matches; if he goes over again and they’re successful he’ll join burly winger Bill Mullins (1974) as the only men to score in all finals games including a premiership victory. <br><br><b>5. Run It Again, Sam</b><br>The opening minutes in grand finals can set the tone for the encounter. Errors can be crucial, inroads decisive. That’s why the efforts from the likes of winger Sam Perrett will come to the fore. The Roosters have averaged more dummy-half runs than any other NRL side in 2010 (27.3 per game) and Perrett is undoubtedly the king. He leads the club in runs (443) and metres for the fourth consecutive season – with 55 per cent of his efforts coming from scoots out of the ruck. <br><br><b>6. Tenacious ‘D’</b><br>The Roosters’ defence has undergone massive improvement at the business end of the season. From June they began conceding 42 per cent fewer points – to the point where they now boast the fourth-best defensive record in the NRL (17.7 points per game). That includes no more than 15 points in each of their past five games.<br><br><b>7. In For The Grind </b><br>The Dragons are confident in their ability to win the hard slog but if they want to grind it out then the Roosters are more than capable of going with them. No team averaged more metres throughout the first three weeks of the finals (1520), including five players who averaged more than 100 metres of territory. In defence they have made an incredible 87.6 per cent of their tackle attempts. That’s superior to even that of their opponents, who were the benchmark all year in the regular rounds. <br><br><b>8. Going The Distance</b><br>Should points be required in quick fashion, Roosters fans can be guaranteed their side won’t die wondering. The tri-colours lead the competition in line-breaks recorded from within their own half (35) and fall behind only the Wests Tigers in terms of tries (20) and passes thrown (92 per game) in their own zone. <br><b><br>9. Beware The Bopper</b><br>Big Jason Ryles remains perilously close to the infamous ‘nudie’ run – but don’t discount the big guy from crossing against his former side. Tries by props have been a feature of recent years (think Brent Kite in 2008, Fuifui Moimoi last year). Also, in a bit of an omen perhaps, the three times Ryles has scored in finals footy, the Dragons were defeated each time. <br><br><b>10. ‘Mini’ To The Max</b><br>The form of former Golden Boot winner Anthony Minichiello throughout the Roosters’ September charge has been truly fantastic – but then again it has also been largely expected. ‘Mini’ has racked up 20 finals appearances for the Roosters, second only to favourite son Brad Fitter (22). But no Rooster has scored more tries (13) at this level. Meanwhile, in his 12 appearances against the Dragons he has crossed the try line seven times whilst averaging 18 runs for a staggering 156 metres per match. Watch him go!<br>