The winners have been decided from NRL Finals Week 3 and we have our two grand finalists at last.
They will be playing for glory and immortality. But what happened in the NRL Finals Week 3 to get both teams there?
The Gurgler provides their “expert” analysis of the two big games.
SHARKS SAVING THEIR BEST FOR LAST
There would have been very few sides that would have been able to contain the Sharks in the form from Friday night’s game. It was a breath taking performance. It certainly took the breath from North Queensland.
Quite a turnaround in the NRL Finals series for the Sharks, who looked busted arse coming into the finals. Their poor run towards the end of the season including the terrible submission against Melbourne in the big Minor Premier play off in Round 26 had most thinking straight sets exit and title of chokers awarded.
But they toughed out the win against Canberra, and blew the Cowboys away in NRL Finals Week 3 this weekend to prove all the doubters wrong. Coming good at the right time? Their fans who turned out in impressive number at the SFS will be hoping so to break the title drought.
COWBOYS SAVED THEIR WORST FOR LAST
You could tell reasonably early on Friday night it wasn’t going to be the northerners night. Dropped ball, penalties and the obvious one of not finding touch from a penalty kick.
A shame, but that epic game against the Broncos looked to have taken plenty out of them.
Whilst there was some focus on the refereeing decisions again, as is standard for a Cowboys finals game in Sydney, it was nowhere near enough to make up for the Sharks outplaying them everywhere. The Cowboys were actually lucky to be down by as little as they were given the possession and other stats.
MELBOURNE DO WHAT MELBOURNE DO
There are many facets of play that people don’t like about Melbourne. Grapple, wrestling, and all the other bullshit that has slightly ruined the game.
But you do have to respect their ability to shut down a game when they are in front. As they proved on Saturday night against Canberra. They withstood the early storm, and then the experience of Smith and Cronk takes over.
Also their ability to create a great side full of lesser known names and rejects from other clubs. How many other clubs would take risks on a Vanivalu, Munster, either Bromwich of even Cronk back in the day? Not many, if any.
It’ll probably be a boring as sh*t Grand Final, and if Melbourne hit the front, bet on that they won’t lose it.
A LOT TO LIKE ABOUT CANBERRA BUT MAYBE NEXT YEAR FOR THE TITLE
Canberra had plenty to offer, and were on top of the game in large chunks. It made for a good game anyway
But maybe a lack of Finals experience cost them against the side with almost the most.
They play a very attractive style of rugby league, and will sure be welcomed back for the NRL Finals next year. Given how much Channel Nein love to show them, they might have to make the finals again in 2017 to get some FTA TV games.
Like Penrith, they are a team to really watch in 2017. Knocked out in the NRL Finals Week 3, it was a great achievement considering Ricky Stuart has been in charge all tear.
FIFTH AND LAST….THE 10 MINUTE SIN BIN FOR PROFESSIONAL IS A JOKE.
When Jack Wighton earned a 10 minute rest in the second half after shutting down a Melbourne break, it highlighted one thing in rugby league we’d like changed.
One wonders why that a person who stays on top of a another player after a runaway break is given ten minutes in the Sin Bin, when a piece of nasty play that goes on report and can badly injure simply goes on report.
Sure they are put on report, but way should they stay on the field when the above scenario sees the players “resting for ten”. The punishment for the professional foul is not proportionate to the crime.
The Sin Bin should be reduced to five minutes in general, and one more important change, in our books needs to happen.
If you sent every player that was placed on report got a five minute sit and think, it would be fairer, and possibly cut out some of the less desirable actions in rugby league.