So the two protagonists in the NRL grand final have been decided – and what a mouth watering contest it should be.
The methodical and clinical Melbourne Storm, who finished minor premiers, are set to take on the enterprising and unpredictable Cronulla Sharks.
With the back three of both teams in superb form and the two packs looking evenly matched it may come down to a moment of individual brilliance or a crucial error that will decide the match.
As a huge fan of the Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart I listened with interest to his astute prediction before the Storm versus Raiders Match when he was being interviewed by Brad Fittler. He said that he’d told his two halves “if you get man of the match you’ll win us the game”.
He’d summed it up perfectly, but unfortunately for Stuart it wasn’t one of his halves that won that award.
You only have to look at both the Cowboys versus Sharks and Storm versus Raiders Matches to see that the two man of the match awards were claimed by James Maloney and Cooper Cronk respectively.
Both have won grand finals before and one of these two key playmakers may very well hold the key to the outcome of the match.
It can only be hoped that the two referees who are appointed to control the grand final police the ruck area vigilantly so that we can enjoy an open and entertaining game. If they don’t then it’ll play in to the hands of the Melbourne Storm.
As a neutral fan I hope that the Cronulla Sharks can win their maiden NRL premiership for all of their long-suffering fans and to send Michael Ennis in to retirement on a winning note.