The Newsroom previews the State Championship and Holden Cup Final which both take place at ANZ Stadium on Grand Final Day.
The Illawarra Cutters and the Burleigh Bears will face off for the State Championship after winning their respective state competitions. The Illawarra Cutters have the services of nine players full of NRL experience, including Josh McCrone, Drew Hutchinson and Adam Quinlan. The Bears don’t have much first-grade experience but they boast a powerful playing style that enabled them to knock off the minor premiers to win their QRL state grand final. The match-up to watch in this match will be between the halfbacks: Drew Hutchinson for the Cutters nailed the match-winning field goal in their NSW Cup grand final win and Cameron Cullen has his ability in first grade for the Gold Coast Titans.
National Youth Competition Grand Final
The Penrith Panthers take on the Sydney Roosters for the NYC premiership with the Panthers looking to become Premiers for the second consecutive year. The Roosters have been the in-form team in the finals: their dominant left flank of Joseph Manu and Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck provide lethal attack with speed and footwork. The Panthers will back their hard-nosed defence to shut down the Roosters but also possess attacking weapons across the park, notably Braidon Burns and Dylan Edwards. The match-up to watch is between the hookers Soni Luke, for the Panthers, and Grant Garvey. Soni Luke hasn’t played much football this year but won the Jack Gibson Medal last year for the best player in the Grand Final, whereas Grant Garvey is the in-form hooker of the year having scored 18 tries and delivered 22 try assists. – James Wardell
Photo of Kurt Mann scoring against Newtown from the St George Illawarra Dragons’ Twitter feed.