Five Reasons Why Sharks Will Win
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