MELBOURNE STORM V NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS, ANZ STADIUM, SYDNEY 1 October 2017
After six months and 190-odd games, the final NRL game is here, with contrasting fortunes.
Melbourne cruised to the minor premiership, beat a valiant Parramatta and thrashed Brisbane to make the grand final.
North Queensland were planning an early Mad Monday on the final day of round 26 before Canterbury upset the St. George-Illawarra Dragons. With nobody expecting them to get past week one, they Cowboys beat Cronulla, Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters in a run that hasn’t been since since Jarryd Hayne (when everyone still liked him) took Parramatta to the 2009 grand final.
On paper, Melbourne should win comfortably: they have form, are well-rested and with plenty of motivation (avenging last year’s loss and honouring Cooper Cronk’s likely final game amongst them). Yet momentum is a big factor in sports and North Queensland have plenty of it. Surely three weeks of sudden-death football (including the extra 10 minutes against Cronulla) will take its toll as the grand final enters the hour mark. Surely Melbourne have enough experience to run around the Cowboys and do enough to win?
Then again, Brisbane had the 2015 grand final won with a minute left, we all know what happened then…
Melbourne should win this, just.
Melbourne by two
For tix visit: http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NRLGRAND17