It may not be the game everybody wanted but the 2012 NRL Grand Final features two teams who have well and truly earned their positions. They finished first and second at the end of the regular season and continued their dominance throughout the finals series to set up what should be a tough contest that also features tough defence and exciting attack.
The Bulldogs have been the team to beat all year and are ultra tough. Des Hasler brought across the brutal defence he instilled in the premiership-winning Manly side last year and they will be ready to perform on the big stage. But the Dogs can do more than just grind teams out with the likes of Barba and Morris providing electric attack. They’ve racked up some big scores and any slip in Melbourne’s defence will see them pay.
All the experts say to win a grand final you need star players at fullback, hooker and half. The Storm have just that and will look to skipper Smith and guns Slater and Cronk. The matchup between Slater and Barba will be crucial and if either is off their game then their side will suffer in attack. It’s hard to fault the storm anywhere across the park and they have been there, done this before so know what it is all about
This is almost too close to call but we are leaning towards the Dogs due to the Hasler factor. He’s set to become the first coach to go back-to-back with different clubs!
Bulldogs by 4
With the Bulldogs our tip to take out the match the $2.02 in the head-to-head market makes them an obvious bet.