Unheralded Finucane the glue that holds Bellamy’s top outfit together
MANY rugby league players never get to experience the thrill of playing in a grand final.
But for Melbourne Storm lock Dale Finucane, featuring in the last game of the season has become a near certainty every year. Finucane will today take on the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium in what will be his fifth NRL Grand Final in seven seasons.
Finucane played in Canterbury’s 2012 and 2014 grand final losing teams before being released by the Bulldogs to join Melbourne, the side he has turned out for in the past two premiership deciders.
Finucane, 27, is one of the Storm’s unsung heroes, the glue that holds a team featuring superstars like Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Camer- on Munster together. “I’ve been lucky to be involved in a few grand finals,” Finucane said with the no-frills attitude he plays with.
For every Smith and Slater, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has found an unheralded player crucial to the Storm’s success.
In the past the likes of Dallas Johnson, Ryan Hinchcliffe and Bryan Norrie have done the dirty work for Melbourne with few accolades. These days there is Finucane, Tim Glasby, Christian Welch, Joe Stimson and Kenny Bromwich among others.
They are the players who are unlikely to be in contention for the Clive Churchill Medal tonight, but Melbourne would be little chance of winning without.
“I don’t think Dale would be underrated by his peers,” said former Queensland Origin hooker Kerrod Walters. “He is what every great team needs. In our day, it was a Gary Larson or a Bradley Clyde who just played for 80 minutes and did all the tough stuff like a true professional.
“Finucane is exactly like Larso or Clyde. He is the type of player who is prepared to do the tough stuff that other players simply can’t do and the Storm have always had that type of workhorse. Dallas Johnson was a great workhorse, Ryan Hinchcliffe was an unsung hero and now Finucane is the glue that holds the Storm team together.”
Despite Storm coach Craig Bellamy’s regular pleas to NSW Origin selectors, Finucane has never been selected to play for the Blues.
One player that hasn’t gone unnoticed is Glasby, who now has three Queensland Origin appearances next to his name.