NRL GRAND FINAL
Storm v Cowboys
The fact the Cowboys have made the Grand Final from where they were placed in the last round of the competition is close to a miracle - they’ve caused three big upsets on the trot in beating the Sharks, Eels and Roosters to get here and are high on confidence but this Storm side is a very different beast to those they’ve faced in the finals so far.
There is a real sense of destiny here for this Storm side with this being the end of Cronks incredible tenure at the club and the way they’ve played this season is next level, even compared with the previous very high standards they’ve set. They look fitter than ever and the attack is absolutely humming along, a lot of that is down to the fact their dynamic spine of Slater, Cronk and Smith has remained fit all season. The narrow loss to the Sharks in last year’s grand final will also be fresh in the minds of the Storm players and will provide added motivation here.
The Cowboys have shown a tonne of heart in reaching the grand final but have fed off high error rates from their opposition which is something they won’t be gifted here against the clinical Storm who do the basics very very well. The obvious danger men for the Cowboys are Taumalolo and Morgan but the Storm have an incredible knack of being able to limit star opposition players influence in big games and they’ll have a solid plan in place for those two.
This has all the makings of a fairy tale swansong for Cronk as I can only see this going one way and that’s a comfortable win to the Storm; we’ll back them to cover the line and we’ll also back Cronk to grow another leg and put on an emotionally charged master class performance to win the Clive Churchill Medal. Pick – 4 units on Storm -9.5 point start (BEST BET) and 1 unit on Cooper Cronk to win Clive Churchill medal