Five Rea­sons Why Sharks Will Win

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Syd­ney: Strike power, mo­men­tum and des­tiny, Paul Craw­ley takes a look at some of the rea­sons why the Cronulla Sharks will beat the Mel­bourne Storm in to­day’s grand fi­nal.

More strike power Play Mel­bourne at their own game and they will wres­tle you to the deck and stran­gle the life out of you. But as teams like Bris­bane and Can­berra have shown late in the sea­son, if you shake things up, the Storm can be un­set­tled. Cronulla have the strike power to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties on the back of shifts and sec­ond-phase play. Only the Raiders scored more points than the Sharks this year.

Power and ag­gres­sion

We’ve see it in both the Sharks’ fi­nals matches so far, they are big, mo­bile and mean and they’ll be think­ing they have too much power and ag­gres­sion for the Mel­bourne pack. Fi­fita, Gallen and Prior made a mess of the star-stud­ded Cow­boys through the mid­dle last week and Gra­ham and Lewis are ab­so­lute guns on the edge. They won’t be in­tim­i­dated by the Storm, or the oc­ca­sion.

More sup­port It’s al­ready a sell­out, and you can bet the ma­jor­ity of fans at ANZ Sta­dium to­mor­row night will be cheer­ing the Sharks. That has got to im­pact on the match of­fi­cials and po­ten­tially Cronulla get­ting the rub of the green on tight de­ci­sions. While this isn’t Ori­gin, all the build up has been based along state lines. As we see ev­ery year in Ori­gin, home teams are very hard to beat.

Mo­men­tum The Sharks won 15 straight this year and af­ter los­ing their way slightly they are now well and truly back to their best. They are fully fit and their ram­pag­ing win over North Queens­land has them primed for the big­gest game of the year. Most peo­ple thought Mel­bourne were some­what lucky to get over Can­berra last week. Cronulla would have gained even more con­fi­dence from that.

Des­tiny All week we’ve been hear­ing about how Cronulla haven’t won a premier­ship in 50 years, that type of emo­tion is hard to block out. Last year it was the Cow­boys in a his­tory mak­ing charge, the year be­fore that the Rab­bitohs ended their drought. You just sense this is des­tiny again. For Paul Gallen, for the re­tir­ing Michael En­nis, for a club that has fought so hard for so long just to sur­vive. Their time is now. AAP

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