Six players who represented the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues this year will line up in Sunday’s Grand Final between the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders. Given their representative status and experience in the big games, each of them is a good chance for the coveted Clive Churchill medal for the best on ground at ANZ Stadium.
The favourite – and why wouldn’t he be? Teddy has been simply outstanding in 2019, both for the Roosters and the Blues. He was judged as the best player in the 2019 State of Origin series, picking up both the Brad Fittler Medal and the Wally Lewis Medal, and is the hot favourite to pick up the Dally M Medal tomorrow night. While the premiership is the goal for the reigning golden boot winner this weekend, a clean sweep of individual accolades is on the cards. He’s been arguably the best player in 2019, and the Roosters will need him to be at his best one more time in the red, white and blue this year.
Teammates with Tedesco in the 2010 Australian Schoolboys squad and this year’s Origin victory, Jack Wighton will be looking to get one over his old mate in the NRL Grand Final this Sunday. Wighton’s transformation in the space of a year has been remarkable. He finished the 2018 season suspended for off field issues and will finish 2019 with a State of Origin victory and potentially a premiership ring. Wighton has been instrumental all year for the Raiders and was at his destructive best last week against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
On his day, Latrell is unstoppable. Eighth immortal Andrew Johns once referred to him as the Roosters’ Ferrari. His ability to create something out of nothing with his raw power, skill, speed and awareness makes him arguably Canberra’s biggest threat come Sunday, and Joey Leilua is the man tasked to take him down. If Latrell Mitchell is on it goes a long way towards a Roosters victory and he is a very good chance at taking out the Clive Churchill Medal.
It’s been a massive year for Nick Cotric, who made his State of Origin debut in Game One earlier in the year at Suncorp Stadium and is about to play in his first NRL Grand Final. The 2017 NRL Rookie of the Year excelled on the left wing in his first two years in the top grade, but has shifted between centre and wing this season proving he is a versatile asset in any part of the back-line. It’s rare for a winger to get the man of the match in any case, but if there’s any that can do it, it’s Nick Cotric.
What a couple of years it has been for Boyd Cordner. He’s already captained the Roosters to a premiership, captained the NSW Blues to two State of Origin wins, and was given the honour of captaining Australia late last year. One of the most damaging forwards in the game, Cordner is imperative to the Roosters both as a player and a leader. He was outstanding last week in the Preliminary Final against the Storm and is no stranger to the big stage. Life wouldn’t get much better for Cordner if his side does win on Sunday, particularly if he is judged as man of the match.
It was unfair to think that Angus Crichton would hit his straps at a new club from day dot, but he’s certainly setting the Rugby League world on fire in recent weeks. When Cordner was out with injury post-Origin, Crichton stepped in in his left back-row position and was at his damaging best. Since then, he’s been one of the best players in the team, highlighted by his outstanding performance against Melbourne in the Preliminary Final. Much like Cotric and wingers it’s rare for bench players to claim the Clive Churchill Medal, but Angus Crichton is certainly capable of doing so.