NRL Grand Final Opta facts: Roosters aim to go back-to-back, Raiders eye elusive title

By Sports Desk October 04, 2019

Sydney Roosters are strong favourites to become the first team to win back-to-back titles for 21 years when they lock horns with Canberra Raiders in the NRL Grand Final on Sunday.

The Roosters dethroned Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium last year and are expected to shatter the Raiders' hopes of being crowned champions for the first time since 1994.

Canberra have a terrible record when facing the defending champions in New South Wales, but Ricky Stuart's men will be not be thinking about that when they run out in Sydney this weekend.

We pick out a selection of Opta facts ahead of the decider.


- This will be the third time the Roosters and Canberra have clashed in the finals series during the NRL era – with the Roosters having won the previous encounters by 28 (2000 semi-final) and 26 (2004 quarter-final) point margins respectively.

- The Roosters have won 17 of their 18 matches against the Raiders in New South Wales since the NRL commenced in 1998.

- Jarrod Croker needs eight points to become the first Raiders player to score 2000 in the NRL. He has scored 48 points in his last five matches against the Roosters, crossing the try line on each occasion in that span.

- Canberra's Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (1527) and Sydney's James Tedesco (1467) have gained the most metres from kick returns amongst all players in NRL 2019.

- The defending champions have scored the most tries than any other team this season, with 116 to their opponents' 93. 

- Canberra have won three of their five NRL Grand Final appearances. This is the first time they have been involved on the final day of the season since being crowned champions in 1994.

- Only the Storm (9.4) and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (9.7) have averaged fewer errors per game than the Raiders (10.0) in NRL 2019. The Roosters have averaged 12.2 per game - the second most.

Related items

  • Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scoops 2019 Golden Boot prize Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scoops 2019 Golden Boot prize

    Roger Tuivasa-Sheck became just the fifth New Zealander to win the prestigious men's Golden Boot award on Sunday.

    Tuivasa-Sheck scooped the prize, which is awarded to the best international player of the year, ahead of Tonga prop Siosiua Taukeiaho and New Zealand team-mate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

    The 26-year-old returned from a 12-month international absence to help his country defeat Tonga 34-14 in the Oceania Cup Test and also featured in a 2-0 series triumph over Great Britain.

    He also ran 167 metres and set up his team's only try in the 26-4 defeat to Australia.

    "Putting on the black and white jersey and representing my country is always a privilege and winning this Golden Boot award is a huge honour," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

    "Thank you to the IRL, NZRL and, of course, my family, as without their love and support, none of this would be possible.

    "This year's campaign has been one to remember, and although being away from my family was difficult, this makes it all worth it, this award is for them."

    Australia star Jessica Sergis enhanced her standing as one of the best in the world by taking home the women's Golden Boot.

  • Papua New Guinea 28-10 Great Britain Lions: Bennett's side humbled by inspired Kumuls Papua New Guinea 28-10 Great Britain Lions: Bennett's side humbled by inspired Kumuls

    Great Britain Lions were unable to cap a dismal tour with a victory after Wayne Bennett's side slumped to a humbling 28-10 defeat to Papua New Guinea.

    Three successive defeats heading into Saturday's contest had seen the pressure pile on coach Bennett, who took charge of England in 2016 and was overseeing a Lions tour for the first time.

    Bennett's contract is now up and, though RFL boss Ralph Rimmer insisted there would be no "knee-jerk" decision on his future, the chances of the former Brisbane Broncos coach retaining his position appear slim after a second-half capitulation in Port Moresby.

    Quickfire tries from Blake Austin and Josh Hodgson had seen Great Britain take an eight-point lead, with Gareth Widdop adding the extras for the second effort.

    A head injury for James Graham left the Lions without their captain, however, and Papua New Guinea - ranked at 10th in the world - moved to within four points by half-time thanks to Edwin Ipape's superb 60-yard run.

    Great Britain failed to stem the tide after the restart, with Watson Boas, Justin Olam and Alex Johnston all going over in the space of nine minutes to send a vociferous home crowd into raptures.

    The tourists' dismal tour - a first outing for the Lions since 2007 - was rounded off in humiliating fashion with 13 minutes remaining, Nixon Putt capitalising on Jonny Lomax's error to mark a famous triumph for the Kumuls in style.

  • Captain O'Loughlin signs Wigan Warriors contract for final season Captain O'Loughlin signs Wigan Warriors contract for final season

    Captain Sean O'Loughlin has signed a new one-year contract with Wigan Warriors to end his career at the club.

    The 36-year-old has played his entire 18-season career with the Warriors. He became skipper in 2006 and has led Wigan to four Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and the 2017 World Club Challenge crown.

    O'Loughlin, who is seventh on Wigan's list of all-time appearance makers, told their official website: "I'm really pleased to have come to an agreement with the club for my final season.

    "I've made no secret of my desire to finish my playing career as a one-club man and I'm looking forward to pulling on the cherry and white jersey once again this season.

    "This won't be a year-long lap of honour for me, as there's an extremely strong and competitive Super League season on the horizon that we have to prepare for.

    "My focus is solely on helping contribute to the team in 2020."

    Wigan centre Oliver Gildart will miss the start of O'Loughlin's final season. Gildart is set for four to five months on the sidelines after having surgery on a dislocated shoulder suffered playing for Great Britain Lions.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.