The National Rugby League Finals are here. Take a look at what we think will happen in week 1 of the finals.
Melbourne Storm vs South Sydney Rabbitohs (Fri 7:40pm, AAMI)
Last Five: Storm 4 wins, Rabbitohs 1 win.
I was one of those fans who said that Melbourne could not put in a strong case for the finals without Cronk, but this game will be tight before the golden era of domination from this Melbourne side begins to quiet down. The Storm finished with a top-two spot earning a home final.
With Smith and Slater still possessing such strong combinations they will want to send the latter off with a back to back Premiership. Their pack up front is strong and bulked both Dale Finucane (171m last round) and Jesse Bromwich (153m) ready to run.
Coming up against them is this South Sydney side which have stormed into September ready to return the support of the Redfern faithful. No wonder the Broncos are getting desperate to bring Anthony Seibold back to Red Hill – what a rookie year this coach is having!
The Burgess clan is firing up front and with GI returning to blistering form and allowed to run it really opens this game up in terms of possibilities.
The key match-up in this one is sure to be between two hookers – one who has been the greatest for a long time up against a guy setting the benchmark at the #9: Cameron Smith v Damien Cook.
For the Storm to win their forward pack needs to be ready to match the Burgess brothers for the full 80 minutes.
For the Rabbitohs to win Inglis, Gagai and Johnston must be given space to run and gun and pile those points on.
PREDICTION: Bunnies by less than 5