No changes ex­pected for NRL grand fi­nal

Fiji Sun - - Sports - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Syd­ney: Nei­ther Cronulla nor Mel­bourne is ex­pected to make any late changes ahead of tonight’s NRL grand fi­nal. Both of the Aus­tralian league sides look set to stick to the same 17 named on Tues­day, with Cronulla prop Sam Ta­gataese cleared and young­ster Kurt Capewell ap­pear­ing to be the un­lucky ca­su­alty.

Ta­gataese hasn’t played in five weeks be­cause of a shoul­der prob­lem and coach Shane Flana­gan said ear­lier in the week he had been given the tick of ap­proval. Capewell has been su­perb dur­ing the fi­nals, par­tic­u­larly in the Sharks’ come-from-be­hind win over Can­berra, but looks set to be cut. Joseph Paulo has also been ruled out from be­ing a late in­clu­sion in the 17 be­cause of a knee prob­lem. Mean­while, util­ity Ben Hamp­ton looks set to re­tain his place on the Storm bench de­spite not play­ing a minute dur­ing last week’s pre­lim­i­nary-fi­nal vic­tory over Can­berra. While coach Craig Bel­lamy is keep­ing his cards close to his chest, it’s ex­pected Hamp­ton will be se­lected ahead of a fourth for­ward on the bench with highly rated young­ster Felise Kau­fusi un­lucky to miss out. Storm as­sis­tant coach Adam O’Brien said on Satur­day the side had no in­jury con­cerns.

“It’s been a good prepa­ra­tion it was re­laxed early in the week; they re­alise it’s get­ting closer now,” O’Brien said.

“This is our sixth time since Craig’s been here of go­ing through this week. We’d like to think that we have a few sys­tems in place that work for us.” - AAP

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