Unwanted playmaker James Maloney will look to savour the ultimate last laugh at the expense of his former club Sydney Roosters when he shapes up for his third grand final in six years on Sunday week.

The NSW pivot has undoubtedly been one of the NRL's leading players for several years now.

He played a key role in the Roosters' 2013 premiership win and three minor premierships from 2013 to 2015.

But he was controversially moved on by Tricolours management at the end of last season, with the club unsuccessfully opting for Jackson Hastings as Mitchell Pearce's halves partner.

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Hastings didn't feature in the Roosters' first grade side for the final third of the season as the Tricolours finished only ahead of Newcastle on the premiership ladder.

After he was told he wasn't wanted at Bondi, Maloney quickly identified Cronulla as a club with a roster capable of emulating the success he had at the Roosters.

And as things have turned out, the 30-year-old will help spearhead Cronulla's quest for their maiden premiership at ANZ Stadium in Sunday week's decider.

"As soon as I couldn't stay at the Roosters I wanted to come to Cronulla because I knew what they had here and I thought I could add something and it's worked out really well so far," said Maloney on Saturday, having also played for the Warriors in their 2011 Grand Final loss to Manly.

"I've been able to identify rosters (although) the Warriors one was not really my choice. Basically I didn't have a whole lot of options. I was there to get regular first grade.
"I went over there and we had a really successful year.

"Coming back to pick the Roosters and to come here and pick the Sharks, I knew what I was going into - I knew the roster they had, I knew the strengths they had in their side."

The Sharks deserve their place in the decider after a year in which they set a new club record for most successive wins at 15 and finished third in the regular season after losing a final round minor premiership showdown with Melbourne.

"We can do it. It gives us a good platform to build on. There's nothing stopping us," Maloney said.

"We've done everything right to get here. It's just about making sure we nail what we have to do this week and don't let in the outside focus of the what if ... and sort of forget the 80 minutes that's ahead because it's going to be a big 80 minutes."

-AAP