Earlier today, I called the qualifying final in the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) Finals Series between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels, which was held at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
The Storm came into this qualifying final on a seven-match winning streak, and have a dominant recent record against the Eels, winning seven of their last 11 matches against them, including six of their last nine, and four of their last six.
In addition to this, the Storm are only one of two teams who had a points differential of +100 or better, and while the Broncos lost last night to the Roosters, the Storm will be looking for a win to move within one match of the 2017 NRL Grand Final, and set up a potential match-up with the Broncos as they look to keep the record where by no team with a points differential of less than +100 has won the premiership since the Top Eight era started in 1999.
The Eels, who will be making their first finals appearance since 2009, where they of course met the Storm in the 2009 NRL Grand Final, and have nine players making their finals debut today, come into today’s qualifying final on a three-match winning streak, and have won 11 of their last 13 matches, including nine of their last 10.
And despite their bad recent record against the Storm, the Eels have won two of their last three against the Storm.
So, in Cameron Smith’s 356th NRL match, where he breaks the record of Darren Lockyer for most matches played in the NRL, would the Storm win to get the week off, or would the Eels march into the preliminary final?
Find out here, and enjoy!