Air of predictability zapping the fun out of finals footy

Jack Byrnes Roar Rookie

By Jack Byrnes, Jack Byrnes is a Roar Rookie

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    Parramatta, you’ve let me down. I needed you to win on Saturday night. I needed a change.

    I’m tired of seeing Brisbane, Melbourne, North Queensland and the Roosters surge deep into the finals every year. I’m over watching Cameron Smith and Wayne Bennett duke it out in the mind game stakes each September.

    As the 2017 season went up a gear after Origin, I genuinely thought we’d be in for something special come finals time. Manly continued to go from strength to strength until their lack of depth was found out, Parramatta looked to have timed their run to perfection while Penrith appeared to have finally clicked into gear.

    All three of these teams played their own unique style of football that, if sustained on a consistent basis, would have seen them make a more hardened dent on this year’s finals series.

    In reality, all three flopped.

    To be fair, Manly and Penrith seemed to have run out steam before the finals series began, but the optimist in all of us hoped the warmer weather might have galvanised their engines. Sadly, it didn’t quite happen.

    Parramatta on the other hand had it all going for them. After coming so close in week one against one of the greatest club sides of the modern era, many thought they’d meet the Storm again in the big dance.

    Before they did so however, they’d need to overcome a spirited yet seriously depleted Cowboys outfit missing their two most experienced (and best) players in John Thurston and Matt Scott. Light work it’ll be boys, save yourself for an all Sydney duel against the Roosters in the prelim… Or get your pants pulled down…

    Brad Takairangi Parramatta Eels NRL Rugby League Finals 2017

    Brad Takairangi (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    Someone forgot to tell the Eels they were up against a team who know how to win at this time of year. Even without one of the greatest players of all time, the Cowboys still had a super coach, a $10million wrecking ball and a bloke named Michael Morgan pulling the strings.

    With the red carpet rolled out for them and 40,000 screaming Western Sydneyites gunning for a blue and gold white wash, Parramatta responded with a performance that was as subdued as it was reluctant. While I won’t say they didn’t leave it all out there on Saturday night, something tells me they might have been blinded by the lights.

    Now what’s left of the competition is about as stale as a two day old hot dog that’s been left to bask in the Queensland sun. Bennett’s one percenters, Craig Bellamy’s wrestlers, Trent Robinson’s perfectionists and Paul Green’s fighters. None of these teams get the juices flowing like an ’05 Tigers outfit…

    One thing that must be acknowledged though, is the sheer footballing quality that all four of these sides possess in abundance. Melbourne in particular are arguably one of the most ruthlessly brilliant organisations in Australian sport.

    Unfortunately however, being ruthlessly brilliant doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good to watch.

    Bring on the World Cup.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • September 19th 2017 @ 7:07am
      Adam said | September 19th 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      If you’ve not had fun watching the action during the finals you’re hard to please. Also it’s Jonathan Thurston, not John, brings the credibility of your article way down

      • September 19th 2017 @ 10:48am
        Jimbob said | September 19th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Johnathan, not Jonathan

    • Roar Rookie

      September 19th 2017 @ 8:44am
      Chris Charlton said | September 19th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      What a laugh of an article. Let another team win? Let the best team not win because they’re good enough to make the preliminary finals every year?

    • Roar Guru

      September 19th 2017 @ 11:45am
      Judge Holden said | September 19th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

      Well I for one continue to hope that Manly, the Panthers and Eels continue to choke in the finals. I will be celebrating the downfall of Melbourne next year, and hopefully the Bulldogs, Tigers, Dragons and Bunnies can make a return to finals football next season.

    • Roar Guru

      September 19th 2017 @ 11:46am
      Nat said | September 19th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      Considering where your team/club was last year you should consider their success a great win. Not many other clubs would have give it to the Storm like Parra on week one and the fans clearly demonstrated they are the best supporters in Sydney. Try to find the peace in being a neutral league fan and appreciate quality football for 2 more games – it’s a long six months off afterward.

    • September 19th 2017 @ 11:58am
      Duncan Smith said | September 19th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

      NRL fans have had 3 fairytale grand final winners in a row – stop complaining.

    • September 19th 2017 @ 2:21pm
      matth said | September 19th 2017 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      Every child wins a prize …

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