Form vs experience in grand final
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 6:41p.m.
By Australia Correspondent Rachel Morton
Food for thought was on the menu at the annual NRL grand final breakfast this morning, ahead of Sunday's big decider.
Led by arguably the two best coaches in the competition, it's the team with all the form against the team with all the experience.
And Storm coach Craig Bellamy was using a little of that when referring to the referees, saying there's no point crying over spilt milk.
Even making the grand final still seems unreal to former Junior Kiwi Kevin Proctor.
“Nerves haven’t really hit me yet, I kind of have to pinch myself just being here but feeling pretty relaxed at the moment and just preparing for the game this week,” he says.
The Melbourne Storm have a lot to prove, they’ve already come back from a slump when they dropped five games in a row during an Origin hangover and now they want to put the salary cap scandal of two years ago well and truly behind them.
Retiring NRL great Petro Civoniceva believes they can go all the way.
“The Bulldogs have had such good form this season but I’m heading towards the Melbourne Storm because they’ve got more big game experience,” says Civoniceva.
Sika Manu, Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor have been no-nonsense for the Storm this year and the Kiwi boys are again expected to set the stage for the big names in the Melbourne Storm to fire in the final.
“We’ve got form with the last couple of games so hopefully we take that into Sunday and keep the ball rolling,” says Proctor.
The season has been plagued by bad calls by referees and video refs and there are concerns it could affect the outcome of the grand final.
“They have a whole heap of pressure on them and some of it has been deserved but I’m sure they don’t go out there to make errors and I’m sure they’ll be focused on their job,” says Bellamy.
As will Dessy’s Dogs, who won’t go down without a fight.
“I think our preparation for Sunday has been good, we’ve had two good hit outs against Manly and Souths so we’ve been going good,” says Bulldogs coach Des Hasler.
They’ll need to continue that form to turn Sunday into a dog’s breakfast against a team who'll be playing their fifth grand final in the last seven years.
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