Sydney Roosters are the firm favourites to win the NRL Grand Final for a third successive year after becoming the first team to win back-to-back World Club Challenges with victory over Super League champions St Helens.
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Sydney Roosters became the first team in the history of the World Club Challenge to win it in consecutive years when they beat St Helens 20-12 to become the most successful team in the history of the tournament.
The Chooks won the World Club Challenge for the fifth time in their history – more than any other team – when they outscored the Saints four tries to two with Joseph Manu scoring two of those tries, with Daniel Tupou and Luke Keary also crossing the whitewash.
One thing I noticed during the game at the Totally Wicked Stadium was how fierce the Roosters defence was. They were determined not to allow Saints to score. They did concede two tries, but the scramble defence was almost perfect. If they are lucky with injuries this season – all teams will get them, it’s just how well you can manage them – then they are going to be very difficult to stop.
The Roosters are the defending NRL champions having beaten Canberra Raiders 14-8 at the ANZ Stadium last October. That win was their 15th Premiership success and their fourth in the NRL era. They also became the first team to win back-to-back Grand Finals since the NRL Grand Final was first introduced in 1998, having beaten Melbourne Storm 21-6 in 2018.
The last team to win back-to-back titles was Brisbane Broncos when they won the 1992 and 1993 NSW RL Grand Final, but it only seems that NRL records count these days.
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It’s not a certainty that the Roosters will win the Grand Final for a third year in succession – there is a reason why no other team has done so. It’s a very hard competition to win. Yes, you need to be at your best in September, but you need to be in the running for the majority of the campaign to make that a reality.
Trent Robinson is one of the best coaches in the world. He has transformed the Roosters into the best team in the world. Since taking over at the Chooks following a spell in Super League with Catalans Dragons, Robinson has won everything on offer.
He became only the second rookie NRL coach ever to win the Minor premiership in 2013 and was the youngest coach to ever be named Coach of the Year as the age of 35. He capped his first season in the NRL with a Grand Final win as they beat Manly 26-18. It says a lot for Robinson that he has won three of the Roosters’ four NRL Grand Final wins.
I’ve already mentioned that it’s difficult to win the NRL Grand Final, but the Roosters have a target on their chest now and ever team in the NRL wants to knock them off their perch.
Melbourne Storm are next in line to claim the title having clinched the Minor Premiership in 2019. They finished top of the pile by six points, but they failed to reach the Grand Final as they were knocked out by the Roosters in the semi-finals.
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