Noviembre 24, 2020

Cowboys vs Storm in 2017 NRL Grand Final

01 Octubre 2017, 02:01 | Fidele Alvizo

HARD TO HANDLE Jaiman Lowe plays for Moranbah back in 2014. Tony Martin

HARD TO HANDLE Jaiman Lowe plays for Moranbah back in 2014

Key: Cooper Cronk's clash with Michael Morgan could represent a passing of the baton in Queensland and Australian rugby league.

The North Queensland Cowboys battled bravely right to the end were barely in the contest right from the outset against a Storm side that were clinical and relentless from the opening whistle in Cronk's final game in purple.

"The Storm have got big, loping men like Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich and Jordan McLean and they like to defend up and down, but if they can get some change of direction going it limits their ability to get that wrestle going as well".

And they have parlayed that reprieve into three consecutive boilovers and a grand final appearance.

Cameron Smith because duh, he's Cameron Smith. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O'Neill, 4. His pass for Kane Linnett to score against the Roosters was absolutely exquisite, and he was nearly faultless throughout.

Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys passes the ball whilst being tackled by Melbourne Storm defenders at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

That allowed mid-season signing from Penrith, Te Maire Martin, to slot into No.6. Jake Granville, 10. Scott Bolton, 11. Interchange: Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Corey Jensen, Shaun Fenson.

Coach Paul Green's men have dominated time on the ball through this finals series, having 57 per cent possession against the Sharks in week 1, 55 per cent v the Eels in week 2 and 58 per cent last week against the Roosters.

"I've just been focused on managing my injuries to get back for the Storm and now we've got one game to go". The challenge for the Cowboys is being able to out-perform it.

The Cowboys on the other hand scraped into the finals in eighth spot and are aiming to become the lowest-ranked team to win the grand final.

"Behind closed doors, the CQ NRL Bid is working hard to ensure they are ready to go when the time comes".

"It's always good to have that in the back of your mind, knowing you have won there". However, the Storm have beaten the Cowboys on each of the last seven times they have met, and majority have been comfortable victories. Joining him will be six Grand Final winners: Peter Sterling, Phil Gould (coach), Brad Fittler, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer and Wally Lewis, while James Bracey takes the reins as host. Since his return he hasn't be as risky out of dummy-half as he can be, and I have a feeling he might have a special performance up his sleeve for the grand final.

I'm really keen on Melbourne to cover a 12-point handicap but I think it will be a slow start to the game before they really pull away from North Queensland in the second half. You don't want to be running around erratic as that will affect the playing group.

The region has been galvanised under the late form of their team which looked without hope when they lost their captain and the game's finest player to injury mid-season.

"But Taumalolo with his big charges and his footwork is devastating and Morgan has been the best player in the play-offs so far".

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