2018 NRL Grand Final

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2018 (2018) NRL Grand Final  ()
Refer to caption
2018 NRL Grand Final logo
12 Total
SYD Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 183 21
MEL Melbourne colours.svg 06 6
Date30 September 2018
StadiumANZ Stadium
LocationSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Clive Churchill MedalEastern Suburbs colours.svg Luke Keary
Australian National anthemSamantha Jade
RefereesGerard Sutton
Ashley Klein
Brett Suttor (Touch Judge)
Nick Beashel (Touch Judge)
Broadcast partners
← 2017
2019 →

The 2018 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2018 National Rugby League season and was played on Sunday September 30 at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.[1] The match was contested between minor premiers the Sydney Roosters and defending premiers the Melbourne Storm. In front of a crowd of 82,688, Sydney won the match 21-6 to claim their 14th premiership title and their first since 2013. Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the game's official man of the match.

The match was preceded by the inaugural NRL Women's Premiership Grand Final and the 2018 NRL State Championship. Pre-match entertainment was headlined Sydney alternative rock band Gang of Youths.[2] Australian singer Samantha Jade performed the Australian National anthem. The match was broadcast live throughout Australia by the Nine Network.


It was the first time the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters contested for an NRL premiership, with both teams having made the most grand final appearances since the beginning of the NRL era in 1998. Only on six occasions since 1998 has there been a grand final that did not feature either club. Both sides have also claimed every minor premiership since 2013, with the Roosters finishing first in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018, and the Storm doing the same in 2016 and 2017. The Roosters qualified for their first grand final since they won the premiership in 2013. The club had reached the preliminary finals in 2014, 2015, and 2017, yet were denied a grand final berth on each occasion when they were defeated by the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys, respectively. The Storm qualified for their third-straight grand final, replicating the milestone they achieved in 2006, 2007 and 2008. They are the first NRL side to make three consecutive grand finals on more than one occasion. It was Trent Robinson's second grand final in his sixth year coaching the Roosters, while Craig Bellamy equalled Wayne Bennett in reaching eight grand finals as a first grade coach.

Sydney and Melbourne finished first and second on the premiership ladder respectively, making up a top four in which all teams (together with the South Sydney and Cronulla-Sutherland) finished on 34 points. The sides faced each other only once during the regular season, with the Storm edging out a 9-8 victory over the Roosters at Adelaide Oval courtesy of a Cameron Smith field goal. Having a double home game advantage, both teams defeated the third-placed Rabbitohs and fourth-placed Sharks to earn a week off from the semi finals and a place into the grand final. Sydney, playing at Allianz Stadium, defeated the Sharks 21-12 in the second qualifying final. In the preliminary final, they defeated the Rabbitohs 12-4 in front of a record crowd of 44,380 in the last ever NRL game held at Allianz Stadium before its scheduled knock-down and rebuild. Melbourne, playing at AAMI Park, narrowly defeated the Souths 29-28 in the first qualifying final, before beating their 2016 grand final opponents Cronulla-Sutherland 22-6 to join the Roosters in the premiership decider. Sydney and Melbourne last played each other in the finals in 2015, where the fourth-placed Storm defeated the minor-premiership winning Roosters 20-18 in the first week of the finals.


Position Melbourne
James Tedesco Fullback Billy Slater
Daniel Tupou Wing Suliasi Vunivalu
Latrell Mitchell Centre Will Chambers
Joseph Manu Centre Curtis Scott
Blake Ferguson Wing Josh Addo-Carr
Luke Keary Five-eighth Cameron Munster
Cooper Cronk Halfback Brodie Croft
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves Prop Jesse Bromwich
Jake Friend (c) Hooker Cameron Smith (c)
Sio Siua Taukeiaho Prop Tim Glasby
Boyd Cordner (c) 2nd Row Felise Kaufusi
Mitchell Aubusson 2nd Row Joe Stimson
Victor Radley Lock Dale Finucane
Isaac Liu Interchange Kenny Bromwich
Dylan Napa Interchange Christian Welch
Zane Tetevano Interchange Brandon Smith
Ryan Matterson Interchange Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Trent Robinson Coach Craig Bellamy

The grand final would be Billy Slater's final game before his retirement after playing 319 first grade games in the NRL, becoming the 16th player to finish their career playing over 300 games at one club. However, many felt Slater was extremely lucky to be playing in the game after being charged for a shoulder charge against Cronulla player Sosaia Feki in the preliminary final the week before. The judiciary cleared Slater of any wrongdoing, presenting him with the opportunity to win a grand final in the final game of his illustrious career. Melbourne captain Cameron Smith surpassed Darren Lockyer in becoming the most capped finals player in the NRL, with 36 appearances. Brodie Croft, Joe Stimson, Christian Welch, and Brandon Smith were the only new additions to the Storm's grand final winning squad from the previous year. Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk played in his eighth grand final, after playing all seven previous grand finals for the Storm; he equalled Steve Menzies in becoming the fourth most-capped NRL player in history; he also became the first player to win back-to-back premierships with different clubs since Johnny Mayes accomplished the feat in 1973 with Manly-Warringah then 1974 with Eastern Suburbs. Daniel Tupou, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Boyd Cordner, and Mitchell Aubusson were the last remaining members from their 2013 premiership winning squad, while Frank-Paul Nu'uausala wasn't selected to play. Luke Keary was the only other Roosters player to have experienced premiership success, having played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in their victorious 2014 Grand Final.


Position Stand-By
Referees: Gerard Sutton Ashley Klein Ben Cummins
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel Brett Suttor Chris Sutton
Bunker: Steve Chiddy Ben Galea

Match summary[edit]

Sunday, 30 September
7:35pm (AEST)
Sydney Roosters Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 21 – 6 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Tupou (8') 1
Mitchell (15') 1
Manu (37') 1
Mitchell 4/6
(4' pen, 16', 31' pen, 79' pen)
Field Goals:
Keary (69') 1
1st: 18 – 0
2nd: 3 – 6
1 (63') Addo-Carr
1/1 (64') C Smith
Sin Bin:
(30', 78') Munster

Opening games[edit]

NRL Women's Premiership Grand Final[edit]

Sunday, 30 September
1:35pm (AEST)
Brisbane Broncos Women's Brisbane colours.svg 34 – 12 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters Women's
Kimiora Nati (6', 18' pen, 46') 3
Heather Ballinger (14') 1
Ngatokotoru Arakua (25') 1
Lavinia Gould (29') 1
Chelsea Baker 5/6
(7', 16', 19', 26', 48')
1st: 28 – 6
2nd: 6 – 6
1 (11') Tazmin Grey
1 (44') Lavina O'Mealey
2/3 Zahara Temara
(5' pen, 45')
Team lists:
FB 1 Chelsea Baker
WG 2 Julia Robinson
CE 3 Meg Ward
CE 4 Amber Pilley
WG 5 Amelia Kuk
FE 6 Kimiora Nati
HB 7 Ali Brigginshaw (c)
PR 8 Heather Ballinger
HK 9 Brittany Breayley
PR 15 Chelsea Lenarduzzi
SR 11 Teuila Fotu-Moala
SR 12 Maitua Feterika
LK 13 Rona Peters
IC 10 Steph Hancock
IC 14 Lavinia Gould
IC 16 Mariah Storch
IC 17 Ngatokotoru Arakua
Paul Dyer
FB 1 Karina Brown
WG 2 Brydie Parker
CE 3 Shontelle Stowers
CE 4 Isabelle Kelly
WG 5 Taleena Simon
FE 6 Lavina O'Mealey
HB 7 Zahara Temara
PR 8 Ruan Sims (c)
HK 9 Nita Maynard
PR 10 Elianna Walton
SR 11 Tazmin Grey
SR 12 Vanessa Foliaki
LK 13 Simaima Taufa (c)
IC 14 Kylie Hilder
IC 15 Sarah Togatuki
IC 16 Victoria Latu
IC 17 Kandy Kennedy
Adam Hartigan

NRL State Championship[edit]

Sunday, 30 September
3:40pm (AEST)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Canterbury colours.svg 42 – 18 Redcliffe colours.svg Redcliffe Dolphins
Josh Cleeland (36', 38') 2
Rhyse Martin (6') 1
Chris Smith (47') 1
Renouf To'omaga (52') 1
Jayden Okunbor (72') 1
Fa'amanu Brown (77') 1
Rhyse Martin 5/6
(8', 37', 48', 54', 58' pen)
Greg Eastwood 1/1
Josh Cleeland 1/1
1st: 16 – 6
2nd: 26 – 12
2 (30', 60') Kotoni Staggs
1 (74') James Taylor
2/2 Bryce Donovan
(61', 75')
1/1 Kotoni Staggs
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Adam Cassidy, Liam Kennedy
Team lists:
FB 1 Mason Cerruto
WG 2 Josh Bergamin
CE 3 Morgan Harper
CE 4 John Olive
WG 5 Jayden Okunbor
FE 6 Josh Cleeland
HB 7 Fa'amanu Brown
PR 8 Renouf To'omaga
HK 9 Zac Woolford
PR 10 Francis Tualau
SR 11 Ofahiki Ogden
SR 12 Rhyse Martin (c)
LK 13 Greg Eastwood
IC 14 Bronson Garlick
IC 14 Lachlan Burr
IC 16 Jack Nelson
IC 17 Chris Smith
Steve Georgallis
FB 1 Trai Fuller
WG 2 Josh Beehag
CE 3 Kotoni Staggs
CE 4 Tom Opacic
WG 5 Jeremy Hawkins
FE 6 Bryce Donovan
HB 7 Cameron Cullen (c)
PR 16 Nathan Watts
HK 9 Jake Turpin
PR 10 Sam Anderson
SR 14 Miles Taueli
SR 11 Toby Rudolf
LK 13 Jamil Hopoate
IC 8 Nick Slyney
IC 12 Aaron Whitchurch
IC 15 James Taylor
IC 17 Hugh Pratt
Adam Mogg


As premiership winners, the Sydney Roosters qualified to play in the 2019 World Club Challenge. Against the Super League XXIII champions the Wigan Warriors, the Roosters won the match 20-8 at Wigan's DW Stadium.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2017 Telstra Premiership draw launched". Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Gang of Youths to Play NRL Grand Final". NRL.com. Retrieved 9 September 2018.