NRL 2017 Grand Final Preview: Storm To Rain Down On Cowboys Parade

Melbourne v North Queensland | Sunday, October 1, 7.15pm (AEST), ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Melbourne have been the outstanding team all year and they’ve only lost four games this season and it’s scary to think just how far ahead of the pack they are.

The Cowboys have shown the NRL and its fans they’re not a one man show as each player has gone to another level this season.

It’s crazy how much depth Queensland has coming through each year.

The Storm would have learn’t from last year and a few of the players will now have a better understanding of what the grand final entails.

With the prospect of Billy Slater ending his career and Cooper Cronk (pictured above) leaving the club, they’ll want them to go out on a high.

Billy winning fullback of the year goes to show the transformation he has been through to get back to his best.

He brings so much experience in attack and calms the players down in defence as he directs traffic.

He’ll be one of the players to watch out for in the grand final. 

It would be fitting if the Cowboys could come away with a win in the grand final.

They haven’t been given much hope during the finals especially after getting into the top eight after the Dragons’ final round loss to the Bulldogs.

They do deserve to be there as they’ve built a strong line-up and only lost to the top teams in the latter part of the season. 

Paul Green has said Kanagooros and Queensland prop Matt Scott won’t play in the grand final.

It's a good decision because even though he would be a great addition to the team, he’s not match fit and he could cause more problems for his own team more so than the Storm.

Michael Morgan (pictured above) has been consistent all season and unlike Jarryd Hayne in 2009, he’s not trying to do everything himself.

He has built the team around him and they’re all putting in the extra work.

If the Cowboys win, he’ll play a major part. 

The battle of the forwards will also be crucial and the Cowboys pack will dominate the Storm as they have so much durability and can change the angles quickly.

They can play longer minutes and seem to get the ball out more often for second phase play. 

KEY BATTLE: Michael Morgan v Cameron Smith 

Morgan and Smith (pictured above) will be the two players that will make or break the game open.

Smith has so much football experience that he can change his mind about a play on the run and his players can read him which makes him so dangerous.

Morgan will be part of everything and will be looking for that late kick behind the line when the Storm’s defence is tired.  

The Verdict 

Melbourne have too much experience and the loss last year would still be sitting with them and they won’t want a repeat of that in 2017.

Unibet Odds: Melbourne 1.28 North Queensland 3.75

Tip: Melbourne Storm 

Line tip: Melbourne -9.5 

First Tryscorer Melbourne: Billy Slater 

First Tryscorer North Queensland: Coen Hess 

Clive Churchill Medal: Cameron Smith 

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