Week off is a luxury

Michael Hagan September 17, 2012, 12:31 pm

Okay, no more side-stepping the big issue. The NRL grand final is now just a week or so away and I reckon it will be fought out between Melbourne and Canterbury.

Yes, I know Manly and Souths fans will vehemently disagree but I think the Storm and Bulldogs are in the box seats to advance.

Melbourne and Canterbury have enjoyed the benefit of a week off - an absolute luxury at this time of the year.

The Storm have their key positions covered beautifully and are playing with plenty of confidence. The fact this grand final qualifier against Manly will be played at AAMI Park is another huge boost for Melbourne.

Canterbury is the form team of the competition and probably have been for the past three months.

They have a big and physical pack of forwards, smart halves, form centres and Ben Barba at the back. They are the complete side.

Both games will be tight and both will be fierce - but I am tipping wins for Melbourne and the Bulldogs.

The only question mark hovering above these two teams is how and whether they can handle the pressure and expectation.

In a boilover, Melbourne was bundled out in the same game last year by New Zealand at AAMI Park.

Most of the Canterbury side won't have played in too many finals match before. They are a different beat.

Are Souths and Manly capable of an upset? My word.

I am not sitting on the fence here. I have made my prediction and I stand by it.

But both these games will be incredibly even. Something like a penalty, dropped ball, video ref decision or missed tackle could determine the outcome.

I was impressed with the Souths' big win over Canberra. They played some lovely footy and will scare the Bulldogs in every department.

I really thought Souths would struggle after the previous week's loss to Melbourne. But they bounced back in emphatic fashion. They have nothing to lose against the Bulldogs.

Equally impressive was Manly.

Yes they scored a couple of controversial tries but I still thought, overall, they were the better side on the night against North Queensland.

Manly has the game to really trouble Melbourne. The Sea Eagles have a good record down there and are a team who excel in finals footy.

They are mentally tough and won't be intimidated.

It's hard to pick both games but, for me, it's Canterbury and Melbourne.

Hasler v Bellamy. Sydney v Melbourne.
Bring it on.

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  1. Grant11:36am Tuesday 18th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Manly and Souths for me !

  2. ron10:10am Wednesday 19th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Ok no more sidestepping for n r l or a r l what about drug testing the players now if you think they are so clean you have nothing to hide or is the gate money that you are afraid losing . How many other fans are with me .

  3. ron09:56pm Monday 29th October 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Can anybody tell me why the a r l and n r l do not believe in drug testing thier players . grant have they got you on side . Why would you not have the players drug tested .




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