timberland earth keepers How the Cowboys can take down the Storm and steal a premiership

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Melbourne has unequivocally been the best team in the NRL all season and should be a lock against the ‘worst’ finals team, but we all know sport is never so simple.

The second and third placed Roosters and Broncos were inconsistent, the Eels got things together too late and Cronulla looked knackered in defending a premiership.

You might have already forgotten Manly and Penrith were even in this finals series, but the team below them those lovable lads from up north continue to turn it on at the right time of the season.

On Saturday night, they proved what we already knew with the Storm almost guaranteed a spot, the race for the other grand finalist was always wide open.

Now it comes down to who plays best on one night, and the Cowboys have shown their blueprint for taking down the top team in the comp.

Perfect timingObviously the Storm ooze ability, but the Cowboys’ stars are in impossibly good nick right now.

Michael Morgan is playing like the second coming of Johnathan Johns Lockyer, complete with pin point playmaking, elite game management and bone crunching hits in defence. Jason Taumalolo is running into the time of year when he remembers he’s an unstoppable force of nature. Jake Granville has the sort of game that can wreak havoc against the Storm’s giants through the middle.

Basically, with their best (fit) players playing their best footy at the best possible time, North Queensland should not feel overmatched in too many areas as so many other teams might have.

Here’s what our readers had to say about who will steal the premiership in Sunday’s NRL grand final.

Next man upNever underestimate the importance of playing hardest for longest, which Justin O’Neill typified on Saturday night.

Just minutes after he somehow managed to simply hand the ball to the Roosters for their third try,
timberland earth keepers How the Cowboys can take down the Storm and steal a premiership
he came up with some huge tackles, one of which jolted the ball loose from the arms of Blake Ferguson and led directly to Kyle Feldt’s game winning try on the other side of the field. Then, with the victory already in hand, prop Scott Bolton found the energy to power through the defence for a try.

It’s a winning formula that’s served them well throughout the season.

When they lost Matt Scott at the start of the year, everyone else stepped up. It happened again when they lost Thurston, then Coote and Granville, then Kalyn Ponga.

It’s that refusal to drop their heads that will see them put in the sort of relentless 80 minute performance that you need to challenge Melbourne.

Stagnant StormMaybe the best sign of how good the Storm have been this year is the fact they managed to thump Brisbane 30 0 in the prelims while only playing well for about half the game.

But it was the second straight finals game in which the all conquering Victorians have looked very, very beatable, so there’s no reason to assume they’ll simply flip the switch and turn it on for the biggest day of the year.

The departure from their usually clinical ways could cost them dearly against Cowboys, who have adopted a simple, almost Melbourne like approach, with Morgan playing the Cooper Cronk role of kicking to the corners, defending like a mad man and just constantly making the right play.

The fansThe Roosters had no support in their preliminary final against North Queensland. Only 28,
timberland earth keepers How the Cowboys can take down the Storm and steal a premiership
000 fans rocked up to the Sydney Football Stadium and there was a complete lack of hostility from the stands to put the Cowboys on edge.