NRL: Five things we'll know on Monday morning

Sportal Updated September 28, 2012, 2:01 pm

1. '''Can Des Hasler make coaching history?''' If the Bulldogs can beat the Storm in Sunday's NRL decider the former Manly mentor will become the first coach to win consecutive first-grade premierships with different clubs. It's been a dramatic transformation for the minor premiers under Hasler after missing the finals in the previous two seasons. No matter what goes down at ANZ Stadium, the mad scientist of the coaching ranks has proven he belongs in the same conversation as Wayne Bennett and Craig Bellamy.

2. '''Can Bellamy win a premiership with a legal team?''' The Storm were stripped of their '07 and '09 titles for rorting the salary cap. The former NSW mentor has since assembled a rag-tag bunch of journeymen around the big three Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk and is one victory away from proving his coaching credentials beyond any doubt.

3. '''Does big game experience still beat youthful enthusiasm?''' They may not have won an official premiership but Melbourne's big three have won two grand finals and excelled on the biggest stage of all State of Origin. The Bulldogs are young and have consistently proven their doubters wrong, but can they do it in the biggest game of the year against the Storm?

4. '''Has Ben Barba overtaken Slater on the full-back pecking order?''' Barba, the Dally M medallist, has set the competition alight this season, but who will shine brightest on the big day? Slater is reportedly suffering from a virus but the old dog will no doubt be desperate to show the young pup he's still the 'benchmark' No.1 in the game.

5. '''Will predictions the premiership will be decided by a dodgy refereeing decision ring true?''' The whistle blowers have caused more negative headlines than Todd Carney in his heyday this season. Ben Cummins and Tony Archer will control the game while Chris Ward and Shayne Hayne are the video refs. Don't stuff it up lads.

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  1. Grant01:19pm Friday 14th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Manly fans should not have to "cross the bridge" the NRL should have sheduled this "HOME" semi final at Manlys home Brookvale, cause noone is going to travel from NQ , it will be 90% Manly fans they would get 16,000 18,000 at Brookie . Another DUMB NRL move.

  2. Playmaker01:05pm Friday 14th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    @ Ray ~ I want to remove your brain through your nose, Then i want to replace it with an Air bladder. Then i wanna use your head as a Pigskin. Then i will kick your head in - all the way to QLD and back. Might take me 7 SOO series in a row to do it . Qld is going Broke, and is holding back the whole country all the while you Moron's can't even use correct punctuation.

  3. 10:03am Saturday 08th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    No Aussie cares about ruby. It isn't even played in Australia.

  4. phill04:17pm Friday 07th September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Its going to be the best finals in yrs so hold on to yr hats we are in for some stellar League and i'm sure some upsets as well as much as I'm a huge Bronco's fan I can't see them making the GF I feel as much as it hurts it will be Manly vrs Souths and cracker of a game at that !

  5. Grant01:11pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Ray I see your still hangin around like a bad smell hehe , someone said you must be suffering from , little man syndrome, but reading your gibberish Ray , I think you should be seeking professional medical help, seriously !!!!

  6. rastus c01:10pm Friday 24th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Manly 4eva

  7. MILKY WAY02:00pm Friday 17th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Things will become much easier now that Julia has impleminted the Carbon Tax..

    1 Reply
  8. isdon01:29pm Friday 17th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    In case you didn't know Neil JL. TI is part of QLD

  9. ajb12:55pm Friday 17th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I think Ray might suffer from "little man's syndrome"

  10. Mick D12:38pm Friday 17th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    FACT!: 2012 RLGF = Bulldogs v the 'Best of the rest!'...Manly?

    1 Reply