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By the numbers: What the Roosters need to beat Melbourne in the decider

With the two top sides battling it out in the 2018 decider, almost nothing can split the Sydney Roosters and the Melbourne Storm on paper.

Both teams finished on 34 points, the Roosters had a points differential of +198, the Storm’s differential was +190 – and both teams have won their two finals matches so far.

In the past three clashes between the two teams, the biggest margin has been three points, with the Storm defeating the Bondi side in Adelaide 9-8 in round 16 earlier this season.

So what could be the key stat to get the Roosters home in this year’s Grand final?

16 points.

In their 26 matches this season, the Roosters have won 16 of their 18 games when they’ve got to 16 points.

Only once have they been defeated scoring 16 points and that came against Brisbane when they lost 28-22 in round 11 at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roosters have plenty of points in them on the back of a damaging backline with the likes of James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell who have scored 18 and 16 tries respectively this season.

Although a lot will depend on Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk – who if he can overcome a rotator-cuff injury – will be crucial to helping his team defeat his former side.

Cronk has been in severe doubt all week after suffering the injury in his side’s preliminary final victory over Souths, but has been included in the team’s updated 19-man squad after two players were trimmed on Saturday evening.

So put simple, if the Roosters score 16 points, it could almost be enough to secure them the 2018 title.

Macquarie Sports Radio will have full coverage of the match on 1278 AM in Melbourne and on the Digital DAB+ in Perth, while 2GB and 4BC will broadcast the game in Sydney and Brisbane respectively.