Wed, Sep 27, 6:53pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Sunday October 1, 7:15pm AEST
Venue: ANZ Stadium
TV: Channel 9, Fox Sports
All the months of hard work, come down to this last 80 minutes, as Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys face off in the 2017 NRL Grand Final. The Minor Premiers taking on the 8th placed injury ravaged fairy tale Cowboys who are one step away from immortality. Whilst the Storm will be looking to right some wrongs after losing to Cronulla at this stage of the competition last season.
Off the field both sides have plenty of stories that can be woven to make this year, ‘their year,’ yet it is the Storms general Cooper Cronk who could dominate the headlines. As he hangs up his boots on an extremely distinguished Melbourne career, he will want to go out with another Premiership. The Storm are heavy favourites with William Hill priced at $1.27.
Having won their last five matches against the Cowboys, with home and away wins this season. They have been in sensational form all season, highlighted by their 30-0 thrashing of the Broncos in last week’s Preliminary Final. Their attack was magnificent alongside their work rate in defence that strangled the Broncos out of the match.
The Cowboys edged into the Finals courtesy of a dramatic last day of the season, as St George-Illawarra lost to the Bulldogs. A horrendous closing stages of the season saw them lost five of six games but Finals footy has reignited them. The promise of Grand Final appearance and a possible Premiership has inspired a side missing two of their best players.
As they look to repeat their 2015 heroics on the big stage. An impressive run of victories over the Sharks, Eels and Roosters have got them to this stage. It remains to be seen if they have one last effort in them to overcome the Storm and the odds as they stand at $3.85.
As well as the Premiership players will have an eye on the Clive Churchill Medal. Storm players dominate the prices to take home the best player on the night with Cameron Smith ($3), Cooper Cronk ($5.50), Billy Slater ($8) and Cameron Munster ($9). With the best priced Cowboys, Jason Taumalolo and Michael Morgan at $11. A couple of the outsiders to keep an eye on would be the Storm’s flying winger Suliasi Vunivalu at $36 and North Queensland’s Lachlan Coote at $41.
The first try scorer also sees Melbourne players as favourites. With Suliasi Vunivalu topping the list at $6 followed by team mates, Josh Addo-Carr at $8 and Billy Slater at $10. Antonio Winterstein and Kyle Feldt of the Cowboys are both priced at $15, which would have a crucial swing on the game as North Queensland need to start the game on the front foot if they are to have any chance against the Storm.
A big Storm win of 13+ points is favourite with William Hill at $2.15 with Melbourne’s attacking prowess on show. A win of the same margin for the Cowboys is at $15 although the most likely scenario is a win for either team by 1-12 points at $2.80 (Storm) and $5 (Cowboys).
Bet of the Match: Melbourne to Win by 1-12 points at $2.80
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