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Soward: Roosters a lock for back-to-back titles

Congratulations to the Roosters and Raiders for making the grand final and hopefully it's one for the ages.

It'll be the Roosters' defence versus the Raiders' attack and I don't know if the Raiders can attack their way around them. They're going to have to try and go through them with Papalii and Co. Their kicking game is also going to be really important.

To build pressure the Raiders will have to be spot on with their last-play options and where they place the ball. They don't want to give the Roosters any seven-tackle sets. If they allow Tupou and Morris to run freely and get their sets started, and let Tedesco get into the game, the Roosters could break the game open.

The Raiders may carry some scars from their two losses to the Roosters during the season. The Raiders are the underdogs and the Roosters go in expecting to make history.

It'll be a tight game for the most part but the Roosters have too much class and big-game experience and they'll run away with it late.

Get Caught Up: Finals Week 3

1. Sydney Roosters (Last week: 1)

It was always going to be a tough game to win against Melbourne and it felt like we saw the winner of the grand final. I've felt all year that they were building nicely towards another grand final and they showed against the Storm how motivated they are. It's going to be back to back championships for the Roosters.

2. Canberra Raiders (2)

The Raiders have had an amazing season and it's nice to be able to see them fulfil their potential. But having said that, there were signs early in that game and in the second half that the pressure was certainly on them. They defended well and came through that and they deserve their place in the grand final, but they'll be right in the pressure cooker this week.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Rabbitohs

3. Melbourne Storm (3)

They just didn't have the style to get past the Roosters. If that game was a grand final it probably would've been a bit more open but Melbourne's style probably doesn't suit against the Roosters. They need to sort out their halfback situation because that change late in the year probably disrupted things a little bit.

4. South Sydney Rabbitohs (5)

Twice in two years that they've been to this stage and they're just lacking a little bit in a couple of areas. An amazing effort to get where they did with all the injuries they had and next year they'll change a few more things. They probably need to go into the open market and add to their depth in some key areas.

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

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