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- March 2012
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What a topsy turvy NRL season we’ve had so far. I think I can safely say that I’ve never seen a team lead the competition despite a negative for-and-against record. How unpredictable is it? I’d hate to be a punter.
It should be a cracking match this Saturday when Wigan tackle the Roosters at Allianz Stadium. But in many ways, the tables have been turned from usual World Cup Challenge matches, which has traditionally favoured the UK teams.
Whilst it’s undeniable that both Des Hasler and Craig Bellamy are two of the smartest coaches in the NRL, it was the Melbourne Storm who better managed to execute their game plan in the often-emotional atmosphere of last night’s NRL decider.
It’s great to see the teams that ran first and second in the premiership are now playing in the Grand Final. It shows the new finals format has worked effectively and provided a just ending to the competition.
I had the privilege this week of spending a few days in Melbourne with the Storm and their coaching staff and it was a revelation to see just how much has changed in the four years since I last coached in the NRL.
I predicted a few weeks back that Manly were the team to beat in this year’s premiership, and while that hasn’t changed if they can keep their stars on the field, the fall-out from this weekend has made their task that much harder.