Slater to Star in Final

  • By: Ian Millward
  • Last Updated: September 29 2012, 17:43 BST

Billy Slater: Backed to score the first try

3pts Melbourne to win in 80 minutes at 5/6 (Ladbrokes).

1pt Billy Slater to score the first try at 9/1 (Paddy Power, Ladbrokes).

Canterbury Bulldogs (+2) v Melbourne Storm

James Graham and Gareth Widdop provide British interest in a fascinating NRL Grand Final. These are two fine sides; the Bulldogs have won 15 of their last 17 games and the Storm seven in a row. They've won game apiece against each other in the regular season too.

They are very even, the two best and the two most disciplined teams in Australia. The Storm have had a less taxing preparation for this game and I take them to win and cover. They are very strong in the halves and at hooker with Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith. No team has won a Grand Final since 1977 with two half-backs who haven't played international rugby and that stat is against the Bulldogs.

I expect this to be a tense, low-scoring game but anyone looking for a first tryscorer bet I'd suggest Billy Slater as Melbourne usually start a game very strongly

  • Preview posted at 1645 BST on 27/09/2012.