SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Kurt Capewell of the Panthers celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round three NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the Melbourne Storm at Panthers Stadium on March 25, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Winning the Grand Final is all about peaking at the right end of the season. How many times have we seen teams dominate all year (Storm!?) only to fall short to a team hitting form when it counts most?

The 2009 season is especially famous for this. The Dragons, Bulldogs and to a lesser extent the Titans, were far and away the best teams across the regular rounds.

The Storm, in fourth, finished five points behind the table-topping Dragons and Broncos. The eighth-placed Eels were four points further back.

Both found form at the right end of the season and would meet in one of the most famous, and now infamous, Grand Finals of the modern era.

Obviously, both teams contesting this Sunday's Grand Final are in form. Two straight wins is the minimum requirement, but not every player is currently firing on all cylinders.

We look below at the five form players heading into the decider. These aren't necessarily the best players, but the players who enter in red, hot form and will likely decide the premiership.

Let us know below who you believe is entering the Grand Final as the form player of the competition.


5. Stephen Crichton

Many, myself included, were critical of Ivan Cleary's decision to shift Stephen Crichton from the centre position to the wing. It has proven a masterstroke to date.

His try against the Storm was brilliant. His positioning to embarrass the best winger in the world, Josh Addo-Car, was pure class.

He was a mammoth against the Bunnies in week one of the Finals. He ran for 293 metres filling in for Dylan Edwards at fullback. Rather than sulk about his move to the wing in games two and three, he remained equally massive.

His positioning under the high ball has been brilliant. He and To'o are both wrecking ball runners out of their own end which starts the Panthers' sets off so well.

His post-contact metres have been a real highlight thus far. 65 (293), 34 (108) and 37 (122) prove just how hard he has been to tackle.

NRL Rd 11 - Titans v Panthers
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26: Stephen Crichton of the Panthers scores a try during the round 11 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium on July 26, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)