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Storm vs Cowboys
NRL, 1 October, 2017
|Fulltime - Storm 34, Cowboys 6|
|Referee: Matt Cecchin|
|Touch judges: Nick Beashel & Chris Butler|
|Video Referee: Bernard Sutton|
The Melbourne Storm completed a dominant finals campaign with a crushing 34-6 win in the NRL grand final against the North Queensland Cowboys.
More 2017 NRL Grand Final
» Perfect Storm were always going to be premiers
» Match report: Storm slam Cowboys
» The Liebke ratings
» Five talking points from the match
» North Queensland Cowboys player ratings
» Melbourne Storm player ratings
» Watch video highlights from the match
Melbourne Storm 34
North Queensland Cowboys 6
The North Queensland Cowboys have pulled off three straight upsets, but facing minor premiers the Melbourne Storm in the NRL grand final could be a bridge too far. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:15pm (AEDT).
A line that has been rung out time and time again over the last couple of weeks is that the Cowboys simply don’t deserve to be here.
It’s half true, given they fell into the finals, but if you look at the form they have hit, along with the style and quality of rugby league they have been playing, then they deserve to be here more than any other side.
Upsets against the Cronulla Sharks, Parramatta Eels and Sydney Roosters last week have shown their ability to adapt to the game scenario and situation, play what’s in front of them and stay alive in tough situations. It’s been an incredible run.
All season though, it’s been everyone in a race for second place behind the might of Melbourne. Cooper Cronk is in his last season for the club, Billy Slater’s form is outstanding and Cameron Smith is fresh off a second Dally M Medal.
Melbourne finished the season on 44 points with a for and against of 300. We haven’t seen numbers like that for a decade.
Yet, two finals at home seemed to put them under a little bit of pressure. They were scrappy against the Eels despite getting the job done in the qualifier, then took a long time to hit their stride against the Broncos.
When they did, Craig Bellamy’s men were dominant as they ran on a 30-0 victory. Their defence was good saving their errors in the first half though, and as a team it’s hard to find where they don’t win the match-ups across the park.
If North Queensland are going to get the job done, it’s going to be a full team effort, as it has been throughout the finals. Jason Taumalolo, who has made 250 metres in each of the finals so far, and Michael Morgan will need to lead the way though.
The other factor is that Melbourne haven’t travelled in over a month – while grand final week means they have plenty of time in Sydney to adjust, it could be a point early in the contest regardless.
The Storm have been the best team all season and despite their patchiness through the finals series, rightfully go in as favourites. Something out of the ordinary will have to happen if they aren’t going to hold that tag and avenge last year’s grand final loss as well.
Storm by 10.
Can the Cowboys pull off the miracle upset to end all miracles and complete the fairytale?
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