Grand final preview

The only game that matters today kicks off at 12.15pm. Newtown will face Wentworthville in the NSWRL Cup (Reserve Grade in a past life) Final. It's revenge time for the Jets, having lost a golden-point Grand Final to Parramatta in 2006. The Wenty Magpies are the Eels' proxy in this year's reserve grade comp.

My pick: Newtown by 14.

There's a glorified Jersey Flegg game at 2 (Raiders to beat the Broncs by 5), and then, for the second year running.... sigh. Manly-Warringah versus Melbourne.

Melbourne Storm. The franchise fully owned by the competition they play in. The team that can do no wrong, isn't that right, Cameron Smith?

Manly. All I can say in Manly's favour is that they redeemed themselves in my eyes by (a) snubbing the Super League in the mid-90s, and (b) bombing the 1997 ARL Grand Final against the Knights, thus saving the sport (sort of).

But that was before blew it all when they (c) devoured North Sydney in the fallout of the Northern Eagles debacle, and (d) allowed John Hopoate a comeback after his on-the-job proctology sessions in 2001. And of course there's, (e) Rex Mossop.

None of this is much of a guide to form. Manly by 3, Cooper Cronk to win the Clive on the losing side.