No changes expected for NRL grand final
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