2017 NRL Grand Final discussion

Discussion in 'General Rugby League' started by rhugh89, Sep 23, 2017.

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Who will win the 2017 NRL Premiership??

Poll closed Oct 1, 2017.
  1. Melbourne Storm

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  2. North Queensland Cowboys

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  1. MisterLevy

    MisterLevy Danny Levi

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    Every aspect of life these days people try to get around a rule/law to get an advantage.

    That's why we need so many complex rules. We shouldn't be blaming the refs because teams don't have the dignity to play within the spirit of the rules.
     
  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Storm v Cowboys: Schick Preview


    Wed 27 Sep, 2017, 6:00am
    By Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com



    Schick Hydro Preview: Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys
    ANZ Stadium
    Sunday, 7.15pm

    This is it. The big one. The reason the players play.

    The reason we – the masses, the fanatics, the devotees – spend so many hours devoted to the sport we love.

    The first Sunday in October, every year, a new chapter is written into history and fairy tales become reality.

    And, one way or another, that's what we'll get this Sunday night: a fairy tale.

    Will it be the Storm, and their 'Big Three'?

    Will Cooper Cronk finish his decorated Melbourne (and, in all likelihood, rugby league) career with a second premiership?

    Will his close mate Billy Slater join him in hanging up the boots?

    If so, it will be alongside their close mate and the game's best player and sure-fire Dally M winner Cameron Smith.

    He of the 1000 goals and the most ever games, who makes a million tackles a week and leads his team to win after win despite looking more an accountant than a footy player, and still somehow makes the grandest and humblest captain's speeches at full-time, win or lose, while never seeming the slightest bit out of breath.

    And the rest, the journeymen and the up-and-comers and the bona-fide stars who may never had been stars had they not ended up at Craig Bellamy's doorstep on the greatest production line for players in the NRL.

    Josh Addo-Carr, The Fox, the fast kid from western Sydney who's already been quietly placed in the 'too-hard' basket by two Sydney clubs and now, in one short season at Melbourne is close to the best winger in the NRL.

    His fellow wing terror Suli Vunivalu, a no-name at the start of last year who has now scored more tries in his first two seasons than any player before him.

    Departing duo Tohu Harris and Jordan McLean, given their starts at the Storm, one a Test player and the other every chance of becoming one, who like Cronk also hoping to finish their careers in purple with a title.

    Knights-bound hooker Slade Griffin too is looking for a dream finish at the club.

    And their opponents, the Cowboys.

    The team that wasn't supposed to get this far.

    The team that, had luck been unkind at the back end of a luckless season, could have slipped to ninth in the final round of the regular season.

    The team that lost the game's best half and the game's best prop, lost five of their last six season games and seemingly lost their lustre and their chance to threaten for the title.

    Someone forgot to tell Paul Green and his men though. They just kept turning up. Kept fighting.

    Refused to lie down, despite having every excuse to. Refused to listen to predictions, to naysayers.

    With no Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan has risen to new heights. Played the best season of his career.

    Somehow, last year's co-Dally M winner Jason Taumalolo has gotten even better.

    With no Matt Scott, he too has hit unfathomable heights.

    They're not quite as flashy as their premiership-winning 2015 counterparts but they've got just as much spirit.

    Does it sound unkind to call them a team of unfashionable tryers, or is it high praise?

    Whether it's Ethan Lowe chasing Eels fullback Will Smith 100 metres to save two points then curling in crucial sideline conversions against the Roosters, or Scott Bolton rolling the sleeves up week after week then crashing over for a late try in a preliminary final, or stand-in skipper Gavin Cooper – the self-described "Steven Bradbury of captains" – helping fill the leadership gap with typically understated professionalism. A star team despite the absence of star players.

    Josh Asiata ignoring the pain of a broken hand, Antonio Winterstein forging through a strained hammy, Shaun Fensom brushing off a dodgy knee, each of those and more proving the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    A true team.

    Whoever it will be come Sunday night, without question, a fairy tale will become reality.

    ‌Why Storm can win:

    The best attacking and defensive team of the year by miles, the Storm's differential after 26 rounds of +297 was almost double that of second-best, Brisbane's +164.

    That same Broncos team was handily thumped 30-0 by Melbourne last week in a game where the Storm were well below their best (certainly in the first half).

    They have easily the most line breaks of any team; wingers Addo-Carr (25) and Vunivalu (20) are first and fifth, Slater (15) isn't far behind and Felise Kaufusi (13) has the most of any forward this year.

    The wing pair has 44 combined tries.

    Their four key playmakers are all in double figures for try assists this year.

    But for all of that arguably their most impressive efforts are without the ball, as they frustrate opponents into mistakes with flawless sliding defence. They break you down until you crack.

    Why Cowboys can win:

    They weren't expected to win their past three games but they did so. Not only that, they got more impressive with each passing week.

    They have become the masters of percentage football.

    They dominate possession, cut out the errors and penalties, build pressure, wear you out and just never ever go away.

    They have forced more drop-outs (51) than any team this year.

    They have held the most ball, at a stunning 53.6 per cent, across the entire season.

    They've also received the most penalties (209).

    And the form of Michael Morgan, who has truly come of age this year. Just two try assists in the first eight rounds, and 13 in 23 rounds (four of those in a single Round 10 romp over Canterbury).

    Since then: eight in six games, with at least one every week over the past six weeks.

    Crucial field goals under huge pressure. Game-breaking tries.

    His partner in crime, Jason Taumalolo, the best forward in the world.

    He's run more than 200 metres in four straight games, averaging 236 metres in the finals.

    It's ridiculous.

    Take out Boyd Cordner's 90 metres and Taumalolo outran the other five members of the Roosters starting pack on his own last week.

    The history: Played 35; Storm 25; Cowboys 10

    North Queensland have a horror record against the Storm and are currently on a five-game losing run against the minor premiers.

    The last win, in fact, came in their 2015 Grand Final qualifier en route to a maiden premiership.

    That was one of just three finals games played between the two clubs: North Queensland won a 2005 semi-final on their way to that year's decider, then came 2015, and Melbourne beat North Queensland in their 1 v 4 qualifying final last year.

    Interestingly, these two clubs have never faced each other at ANZ Stadium and only once ever in Sydney – the 2005 semi which was played at Allianz Stadium.

    What are the odds:

    Sportsbet punters are shying away from the short price being offered for Melbourne.

    In fact, nearly four times as many individual bets have been placed on the Cowboys, and 40 per cent more money in the head-to-head market.

    Josh Addo-Carr is the best-backed for first try scorer, while Kyle Feldt is most popular for North Queensland.

    Latest odds at sportsbet.com.au

    Match officials:

    Referee: Matt Cecchin; Assistant Referee: Gerard Sutton; Touch judges: Nick Beashel and Chris Butler; Review Official: Ben Galea; Senior RO: Bernard Sutton.

    Televised:

    Channel Nine – Live from 6.30pm.

    NRL.com predicts:

    Can the never-say-die Cowboys find the formula to stop the seemingly invincible Storm juggernaut?

    Given Melbourne's nine-game winning run since losing an Origin-affected Round 18 clash, it's a tall ask but the Cowboys look as good a chance as any before them.

    They'll need plenty to go right but it's certainly not impossible.

    We'll tip the Storm purely because they've looked most likely right from day one of the season and nothing has changed since then but expect the Cowboys to give it one almighty shake.


    http://www.nrl.com/storm-v-cowboys-schick-preview/tabid/10874/newsid/112511/default.aspx
     
  3. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Intrust Super Championship preview


    Tue 26 Sep, 2017, 3:00pm
    By Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com



    Penrith Panthers v PNG Hunters
    ANZ Stadium
    Sunday, 3.40pm

    The Intrust Super Championship has thrown up some wonderful storylines since its revival in 2014 but nothing comes close to the emotion and excitement that will be generated when the Panthers host the Papua New Guinea Hunters on Sunday.

    The Panthers progressed to their second state championship when they defeated Wyong in the New South Wales Rugby League's Intrust Super Premiership last Sunday evening while the Hunters' chance to represent the Queensland Rugby League as Intrust Super Cup champions came with a heart-stopping 12-10 win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

    The mere existence of the Hunters is a testament to perseverance and absolute determination to provide something for which the entire nation can rally behind.

    Upon their return to Port Moresby's Jackson International Airport on Monday the Hunters players and coaching staff were met by thousands of footy fans in the type of scene usually reserved for visiting Australian teams.

    But four years after joining the competition the Hunters are now the heroes of the people of PNG and they will have eight million fans willing them on this Sunday.

    On the field, the professionalism of the Panthers under coach Garth Brennan appears a mismatch against a PNG team that plays with passion above all else but as the Hunters showed against a Falcons team laden with Melbourne Storm players, names mean nothing between the white stripes of a footy field.

    As the Panthers had to fight back after going down 6-0 early to Wyong, the Hunters were behind 10-0 inside seven minutes but grew stronger the longer the game went, wasting countless opportunities on the Falcons' try-line before eventually securing the match-winner courtesy of Willie Minoga 90 seconds from full-time.

    Common sense suggests that the Panthers should win comfortably but thankfully for all of us, rugby league often throws up a storyline that defies belief.

    Why the Panthers can win:

    The Panthers have got class and experience in key playmaking positions that will challenge the Hunters defence at every turn.

    Hooker Mitch Rein performed strongly when he was elevated to the NRL team five times this year while halves Darren Nicholls and Jarome Luai complement each other superbly.

    With the power in the forward pack to match the energy and enthusiasm of the Hunters' willing workers the result will fall to the playmakers and the composure they can exhibit under pressure.

    Why the Hunters can win:

    There is the danger that some of the Hunters players will be overawed by the occasion on Sunday but as they showed in the QRL decider they have the ability to reset and work their way back into the contest.

    After seven minutes it looked as though Sunshine Coast would win by 50 but by half-time it was all the Hunters as the physicality of their style of play began to take its toll on the opposition.

    During the course of the game they made early errors in the attacking red zone on at least half a dozen occasions yet the defence held out long enough to be able to stay in touch and eventually finish the stronger.

    They might look haphazard early but they have shown all season an ability to power home and win games late.

    The match-winners:

    He fell one game short of this fixture last year whilst playing for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup but now the ultra-consistent Darren Nicholls gets his time to shine on grand final day as the architect behind the Panthers' hopes.

    Nicholls' pin-point kicking game will cause a constant threat to the Hunters wingers, one of whom will have to contend with the high-flying Maika Sivo on the right wing.

    As the Intrust Super Cup Player of the Year, Duncan Hall Medal winner as best player in the grand final and captain of the Hunters, a great responsibility for the hopes of PNG rest on the shoulders of five-eighth Ase Boas.

    A three-time Kumuls Test representative, Boas may be tasked with the vast majority of PNG's playmaking with his younger brother Watson in doubt after copping a head knock in the grand final.

    The history:

    Not surprisingly this is the first meeting between Penrith and PNG in a concept that has thrown up some surprising and some lop-sided results since its introduction in 2014.

    The Panthers participated in the first NRL State Championship when they met the Cairns-based Northern Pride who consisting of a bunch of part-timers and with a little help from Ethan Lowe, Ben Spina and Patrick Kaufusi beat a Panthers team boasting Waqa Blake, the Naiqama boys, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Kevin Kingston 32-28.

    Queensland's dominance continued a year later when the free-wheeling Ipswich Jets flummoxed Newcastle to the tune of 26-12 before the Illawarra Cutters exacted some revenge for the NSW teams with a 54-12 thumping of Burleigh last year.

    Match officials:

    Referee: Jarrod Cole; Assistant Referee: Chris Treneman; Touch Judges: Belinda Sleeman and Kasey Badger; Review Official: Luke Patten; Senior RO: Ashley Klein.

    Televised:

    Channel Nine – Live from 3.30pm; Fox League – Live from 3.30pm.

    NRL.com predicts:

    A game of two very contrasting styles, the key will be whether the Panthers can come away with points from the opportunities they will undoubtedly be given.

    Expect a nervous start from the PNG boys but if they can maintain touch as they settle into their work then they will create plenty of chances of their own.

    Where the hard-running Hunters forwards wore out their Falcons opposites last Sunday the same should not be expected of a powerful Panthers pack led by Viliame Kikau, Sitaleki Akauola and Moses Leota.

    Panthers by 16 points.


    http://www.nrl.com/intrust-super-championship-preview/tabid/10874/newsid/112515/default.aspx
     
  4. Kurriboy

    Kurriboy Jason Moodie

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    Players don't play RL so they can play in a grand final.

    I wonder what percentage of NRL players ever make it to any grand final in their career?
     
  5. Joshhh

    Joshhh OnARampageFuelledByGod

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    I think Addo-Carr said last year he'll return to the Tigers. I wonder if he's rethinking that yet. He was young & probably didn't want to leave so that's probably why he said it, but fast forward a year ahead after jumping from a basket case to the most professional team in the comp & becoming a star, he should know better now. So many players leave good systems to worse clubs for more money & fall away into nothing. It's a tough balance between making the big dollars to set you up for life but also preserving a legacy & great career.
     
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  6. Frank McWilliams

    Frank McWilliams Jason Hoogerworf

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    Maybe they don't but they would all love to and be on the winning side.
    Some great players have never played in one and some ordinary ones have won one
     
    Edogmilly likes this.
  7. Steve Jacobs

    Steve Jacobs Jacob Saifiti

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    Huge fan of what the Cowboys have done throughout the finals, absolutely phenomenal effort!

    Big chance of beating Melbourne but they are a cracking side, need to turn up and scrap for everything..........
     
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  8. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Big upset in the Holden Cup GF with the 8th placed Sea Eagles beating the 4th placed Eels

    Poor old PNG aren't having a good day, They are down 42-2 and there is still 25 to go
     
  9. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    42-18 in the end, Well done Panthers

    Loved watching PNG play too, They will only get better
     
  10. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    You could see the Hunters were packing it when they walked out, but they got better as the game went on.
    Panthers were clearly a better side, but if the game were played again tomorrow, I think the Hunters would make them work for it this time.
     
  11. Nickwpearce

    Nickwpearce Adam Woolnough

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    No one even in here ghost town.. just wanted to say #****melbourne cant wait for them.to start losing in the next couple of seasons will make footy much more enjoyable.
     
  12. cowboyman

    cowboyman Adam Woolnough

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    Wrestling bullsh*t tactics. How one didn't get sent to the bin early in the 2nd half I'll never know.

    They have won the ruck all game. Sadly the Cowboys have saved their worst till last.
     
  13. Joshhh

    Joshhh OnARampageFuelledByGod

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    They might be grubs & they may have been cheats, but you can't deny they're one of the greatest teams ever. They deserve their premiership & we'll likely never see such a dominant trio like the big 3 ever again. Was fitting for them to finish off the game with their trademark inside ball play for a try. Melbourne figured out how to change the game with wrestling, it's up to the NRL or other teams to change the game again.
     
    Frank McWilliams likes this.
  14. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Bellamy has to go down as one of the best coaches ever.
    He turns fair players into good players and good players into great players, and he does it with nearly every player he gets to coach.
     
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  15. Matty23

    Matty23 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Honestly, ew.
     
  16. Frank McWilliams

    Frank McWilliams Jason Hoogerworf

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    Storm just too too too gooooooood
     
  17. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think anybody would've beaten the Storm last night, Hate them but there's no denying they are the best and by a fair margin
     
  18. -Patrick-

    -Patrick- Dank memes n' big screens

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    If i were a Storm fan id feel hard done by in terms of the hate from the rest of the comp.
    Realistically it's jealousy that makes people hate the Storm, but you do have to admire the achievement of Bellamy and the club to turn around after the salary cap scandal and once again become dominant.

    On the subject of the big three, I'd say there's no arguing that they are the greatest spine the game has ever seen.
    However having said that, I don't agree that individually they are the best ever in their position
    Smith is probably the only one with a shot at being the greatest hooker of all time, both Slater and Cronk have a few people ahead of them.

    Nonetheless hopefully coaches can finally work Bellyache out and level the playing field in the coming years.

    Sent from my A1601 using Tapatalk
     
  19. packo

    packo :) (:

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    It's those 3 important positions which makes a great team. And a leader.

    Storm are still going to be up there next season I reckon
     

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