Melbourne Storm vs. North Queensland Cowboys (TV style) – My call (2017 NRL Grand Final – Highlights)

The best highlights of the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys.

Enjoy!

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Melbourne Storm vs. North Queensland Cowboys (TV style) – My call (2017 NRL Grand Final)

After my preview of the 2017 NRL Grand Final between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys, I have called the match for your enjoyment!

Listen to my call right here, and enjoy!

 

2017 NRL Grand Final Preview – Melbourne Storm vs. North Queensland Cowboys

On Sunday night, the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final will take place from ANZ Stadium in Sydney between the Melbourne Storm, who are looking to win their third official premiership (fifth if you include the stripped premierships of 2007 and 2009) in their eighth grand final appearance, and the North Queensland Cowboys, who are looking to win their second premiership in three years, playing in their third grand final.

The Storm come into the grand final on the back of a nine-match winning streak, including defeating the Brisbane Broncos (30-0) last week in the preliminary final, and have been the best side all year, only losing four matches from 26, and being ranked the best team (at the end of the regular season) in both attack and defence, scoring 633 points at an average of 26.37 points per game, and conceding 336 points at an average of 14 points per game.

However, there is a lot on the line for the Melbourne Storm on Sunday night, with Cooper Cronk playing his last match for the club that he has loved so much, and possibly the last match of his NRL career, although he will be available for selection for the Rugby League World Cup starting in late October, and Billy Slater playing in his 299th and possibly last NRL match for the Storm, although like Cronk will be available for selection for the Rugby League World Cup.

However, in addition to Cronk and Slater, the key player for the Storm will be Cameron Smith, who won his second Dally M Medal on Wednesday night, 11 years after he won his first, and the way he can control a game exceptionally well, with both his kicking and running game, as well as his leadership will be key to the Storm’s chances.

The Cowboys come into the grand final after defeating the Sydney Roosters (29-16) last week in the preliminary final, and it has been quite a remarkable performance considering Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott have been out for the vast majority of the year, and won’t be playing in the grand final, only palying nine matches for the Cowboys between them in 2017.

At the end of the regular season, the Cowboys are the fifth-best team defensively, conceding 443 points at an average of 18.45 points per game, but were only the 10th-ranked attacking team in the NRL, scoring 467 points at an average of 19.45 points per game, and will be looking to become the lowest-ranked team (eighth) to win the premiership.

In addition to this, the North Queensland Cowboys will look to become the first team since the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in 1980 to win the premiership after having a points differential at the end of the regular season of less than +100. Nine teams with a points differential of less than +100 at the end of a regular season have made a grand final since then, but have all failed to win the trophy.

The Cowboys are also aiming to become the first team since the Western Suburbs Magpies in 1952 to defeat a team in a grand final who had a points differential at the end of the regular season of +100 or more after having a points differential at the end of the regular season of less than +100.

The key to the Cowboys making the grand final has been the form of Michael Morgan, who has really elevated himself to a whole new level in the absence of Thurston, and has proven himself to be a big-match player, as well as Jason Taumalolo, who has averaged 209.04 running metres per match in 2017, and has really lifted to another level in the absence of Scott.

Looking at the recent records between the two teams, the Storm have won six of their last seven matches against the Cowboys, including their last five, but in finals matches, the Cowboys have won two of their three matches against the Storm, although the two teams have split their last two finals encounters.

Overall, the Storm have won 25 of their 35 matches against the Cowboys, with the Cowboys winning 10, but the 2017 NRL Grand Final will be the first meeting between the two teams at ANZ Stadium.

So who will win?

Most of the historical statistics all point to the Melbourne Storm, and all the statistics in 2017 point towards the Storm. If the North Queensland Cowboys were to win the grand final, it would rank as arguably the greatest upset in a grand final in Australian rugby league history, and as much as I would love to see this happen, a premiership achieved without Thurston and Scott for the majority of the season, including in the grand final, in my opinion would be too good to be true!

I think Cronk, and potentially Slater, will get the winning farewell that they deserve so much!

It will be a tight game, and the Cowboys won’t give up until the very end, but I sense the Storm will edge away right at the end to grab their first premiership since 2012.

Melbourne Storm to win by eight points (16-8).

Sydney Roosters vs. North Queensland Cowboys (TV style) – My call (NRL Preliminary Final – Highlights)

Here are some of the highlights from the second Preliminary Final in the 2017 National Rugby League finals series between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys held at Allianz Stadium, where the Cowboys marched one step closer to a fairytale premiership. Enjoy!

Melbourne Storm vs. Brisbane Broncos (TV style) – My call (NRL Preliminary Final – Highlights)

Here are some of the highlights from the first Preliminary Final of the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Finals Series between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos held at AAMI Park, where the Storm marched into their second-straight grand final. Enjoy!

Sydney Roosters vs. North Queensland Cowboys (TV style) – My call (NRL Finals – Week Three – Preliminary Final)

Earlier tonight, I called the second preliminary final of the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Finals Series between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys, which was held at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

The Roosters came into this preliminary final after having a week off after defeating the Brisbane Broncos (24-22) in Week One of the finals, while the Cowboys came into this grand final qualifier after defeating the Parramatta Eels (24-16) last week, and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (15-14) the week before that.

In recent matches between the two teams, the Roosters had won five of their last seven against the Cowboys, and had won both of their finals matches against the Cowboys.

So, who would face the Melbourne Storm in the 2017 NRL Grand Final? Would it be the Roosters, or would it be the Cowboys?

Find out right here, and enjoy my call!

Western Suburbs Rosellas vs. Macquarie Scorpions (TV style) – My call (2017 Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final)

Today, in addition my calls of the matches throughout the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Finals Series, I have a special treat for you, particularly if you are a fan of rugby league outside of the more professionalised competitions of the NRL, Intrust Super Premiership (NSW), Intrust Super Cup (QLD), and perhaps even the Ron Massey Cup (NSW), and are a fan of the Newcastle Rugby League competition.

It is the 2017 Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final, which will take place at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, at the home of the Newcastle Knights, between the Western Suburbs Rosellas, who are looking for their fourth premiership in six years, but their first since 2014, and the Macquarie Scorpions, who are looking for their second premiership, and their first premiership since 1991, when they faced today’s opponents in the grand final of that year, but the Scorpions have made the grand final in the last two years, the only grand finals at McDonald Jones Stadium since 2015, when the Newcastle Rugby League made the decision to move the grand final from the No.1 Sportsground to the more modern venue.

The Rosellas come into the Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final after claiming the minor premiership, and having won 15 of their 17 matches in 2017, including winning a fortnight ago against the Scorpions (35-8) in the semi-final, and only being defeated twice this year, which is the least amount of losses by a team in the Newcastle Rugby League competition since 2010, when the Maitland Pickers only lost two matches (17 wins, and one draw from 20 matches) on route to winning their 11th premiership.

Both of those losses this year for Western Suburbs happened away from home, against the Macquarie Scorpions in Round Four at Peacock Field (18-14), and against Central Newcastle in Round 13 at St John Oval (24-12).

However, at their home ground, Harker Oval, which is only around a kilometre away from McDonald Jones Stadium, they have been undefeated all year long, winning all nine matches at home. In fact, the Rosellas have won their last 14 matches at Harker Oval. However, the 2017 Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final will be their first match at the home of the Newcastle Knights.

The Macquarie Scorpions come into the Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final after finishing second in the regular season, and having won 14 of their 19 matches in 2017, and qualified for the grand final after demolishing Central Newcastle (60-0) at Townson Oval in the preliminary final, a result that has reverberated throughout the entire competition, and something that their opponents, Western Suburbs, would have taken note of in the build-up to the decider.

Throughout 2017, the Scorpions have had a wonderful record at their home ground, Peacock Field, winning eight of their nine home matches. In fact, Macquarie have won 20 of their last 21 matches at Peacock Field, but that hasn’t helped them at McDonald Jones Stadium in the last two years, losing to Lakes United in 2015, and South Newcastle in 2016.

However, the Scorpions will be hoping that it is third-time lucky at McDonald Jones Stadium as they aim to end their 26 year premiership drought.

Looking at matches between the Western Suburbs Rosellas and the Macquarie Scorpions since the start of 2010, the Rosellas have won 13 of their 19 matches against the Scorpions, with the Scorpions winning six. In fact, the Rosellas have 13 of their last 18 matches against the Scorpions, including 10 of their last 14, five of their last eight, three of their last five, and their last two matches.

In finals matches between the two teams since the start of 2010, the Rosellas have won two of their three matches against the Scorpions. However, both of those wins came at Harker Oval, while the Scorpions only victory in those three matches came in the preliminary final held at the neutral venue of St John Oval back in 2015.

In five of the last seven matches between the two teams, the total match points score has been 40 points or more.

However, in six of the last 10 matches between the Western Suburbs Rosellas and the Macquarie Scorpions, including five of their last eight, the margin between the two teams has been 1-12, although in three of their last four matches, it has been a 13+ margin between the two teams.

So, will it be the Mark Taufua-led Rosellas who will win their 23rd Newcastle Rugby League premiership, and their fourth premiership in six years? Or, will it be the Chris Hyde-led Scorpions who will win their first title since 1991?

It will be close match, a titanic contest, and I think contrary to statistics, and public opinion, a low-scoring affair. It may well go to extra-time, we may not know who has won after the siren, regardless of whether it goes to extra-time or not! However, when it is all said and done, I think Macquarie will cause one of the greatest upsets in Newcastle Rugby League history in an all-time classic.

Find out right here, and enjoy my call of the 2017 Newcastle Rugby League Grand Final!