It’s here. The final dance of the gruelling twenty-six round NRL season. It all comes down to this, two teams desperate to lift the Provan-Summons Trophy at the end of play.
The Melbourne Storm had a visit from retired All Blacks captain Richie McCaw earlier in the piece, and how fitting. So many parallels can be drawn between the two sides. Both forged dynasties off the back of ruthless discipline and unwavering mental toughness. They defend like a Roman Phalanx at the battle of Carthage, and attack with the creativity and finesse of Leonardo Da Vinci with a paintbrush in hand. The All Blacks have been all but impossible to beat over the past decade, and in 2017, the Melbourne Storm have that same impenetrable All Blacks look to them.
They will face the modern day equivalent of the Mighty Ducks. A tired, depleted, injury-ravaged North Queensland Cowboys, lead by the fresh-faced Milky-bar kid, Michael Morgan. They weren’t expected to be here. When the Dragons choked in the final game of the season, the Cowboys limped into the finals like a dog with three legs. But this dog is not lying down. Game on!
As you sit down to watch this intriguing encounter, here are 23 things you will NOT be saying during the 2017 NRL Grand Final:
- Isn’t that Joel Caine from Sportsbet a savoury character? To be honest, I’d like to see more of him. I’m not sure if every Aussie kid has been educated enough on how to lay down a cracking multi.
- G’day Joel, $500 on North Queensland 13+ thanks.
- Actually, I'm not going to have a punt at all on this game. Not on the first try-scorer, last try-scorer or golden point win.
- The NRL always nail the pre-game entertainment. I mean, how on earth did they get Macklemore to rap before the grand final? Excellent choice!
- I’m glad Thurston is injured. I rarely enjoy watching him play.
- Gus Gould’s commentary is bloody insightful.
- Gus Gould never shows any bias for his favourite team when commentating.
- Gus Gould does not have a face like a swollen arse.
- How good is the bunker? State-of-the-art technology with a 100% success rate.
- Jason Taumalolo is overrated.
- Slater is past it. He really lost his speed after coming back from that injury.
- Cameron Smith does not have a special relationship with the referees. He’s just chatting to them about their weekends.
- The refs are really keeping an eye on the ten metres this game. Great stuff!
- ANZ Stadium is the best place to watch sport in Australia. It’s easy to get to and the atmosphere is on par with El Clasico when played at a packed Bernabeu.
- I hope there aren’t any all-in-brawls today. The violence sickens me.
- That Craig Bellamy seems like a chilled out bloke.
- I’ll probably have a quiet night if the Cowboys get up. Yep, a glass of warm milk and off to bed.
- I wish the Roosters made the Grand Final. They’re a bunch of modest, unassuming, great Aussie blokes.
- Andrew Johns is a much better commentator than his brother Matty. Joey always sounds so enthused and energetic and not like he’s just woken up from a one-hundred-year nap.
- It’s a real shame the Broncos didn’t make the Grand Final. I always like to see Josh McGuire doing well.
- God I hope the Storm wrap this up in normal play. Golden Point is so boring.
- The Super Rugby is a much more entertaining game.
- The players definitely won’t throw back a few after the game.
In other news, Chin Chin is coming to Sydney and we're excited about it.
Image credit: Cowboys