This is it. The day that we wait for all year. The reason we watch game after game, cheering on our team. It all comes down to one day…one game…eighty minutes. Two teams, going head to head, to achieve the ultimate glory. Two teams that have been the best two in the competition all year, yet have vastly different backgrounds and experience on the big stage.
These two are not unfamiliar foe. The Grand Finalist met in the final round of the season to battle it out for the minor premiership, which resulted in Melbourne walking away with the victory in what was a bruising and brutal affair. Cronulla will be looking to even the score, but the Storm will take confidence in the fact that they know they convincingly defeated their opponents just a few weeks ago.
The Storm are back in the NRL Grand Final after reigning supreme in 2007, 2009 and again in 2012 (despite being stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships due to salary cap breaches). A premiership victory in 2016 would consolidate the dynasty the Storm have built on the back of Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and the currently injured Billy Slater, making it the most successful club in NRL history, if they aren’t already considered to be. Can they write their names in the record books?
The Sharks are into their first Grand Final in NRL history. They have made it to three Grand Finals before NRL days, and have come up short every time. It is a huge milestone for the club, but there is still one more step before they achieve what has eluded them thus far, and reward their fans who have been loyal to the cause. Will the dream come true for Paul Gallen and his Sharks? Will they be able to knock off the experienced Storm? Only time will tell.
Both teams should be ready to fire after earning a week off in the Semi-Final with wins in the first week of finals. It will no doubt be a close game, but the experience of Storm's veterans coupled with their exciting youth will get them across the line, causing heartbreak for the Sharks yet again.