2018 NRL Grand Final

Sydney Roosters (1st) vs Melbourne Storm (2nd) – Sunday night – ANZ Stadium

Sydney Roosters

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Daniel Tupou
  3. Latrell Mitchell
  4. Joseph Manu
  5. Blake Ferguson
  6. Luke Keary
  7. Mitch Aubusson
  8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  9. Jake Friend
  10. Siosiua Taukeiaho
  11. Boyd Cordner (c)
  12. Isaac Liu
  13. Victor Radley
  14. Dylan Napa
  15. Zane Tetevano
  16. Paul Momirovski
  17. Ryan Matterson

Melbourne Storm

  1. Billy Slater
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu
  3. Will Chambers
  4. Curtis Scott
  5. Josh Addo-Carr
  6. Cameron Munster
  7. Brodie Croft
  8. Jesse Bromwich
  9. Cameron Smith (c)
  10. Tim Glasby
  11. Felise Kaufusi
  12. Joe Stimson
  13. Dale Finucane
  14. Kenny Bromwich
  15. Christian Welch
  16. Brandon Smith
  17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona

* note that team line-ups are subject to change and will be updated as soon as possible

The Roosters have been the high-water mark in defence all year, and it's still holding. They've played two top four sides in the finals series and contained them both well. Last week they faced the team with the best attack this season. The Roosters were without their biggest forward (Napa), Taukeiaho was returning from injury, their most potent strike player and goal kicker was unavailable and the guy who leads them around played most of the game like the drummer from Def Leppard. Cronk defended on the right edge, exactly where the Rabbits have been at their attacking best all season. The Rabbits had more of the ball, a higher completion rate, more metres gained, more penalties, more tackle breaks and more metres with their kicking game. And for all of that...the best attacking team this season couldn't score a single try. That same Rabbitohs team played the Storm in Melbourne two weeks earlier...and scored five times. The Roosters and Storm met in Adelaide in round 16 and back then it was the Storm that prevailed thanks to a Cameron Smith field goal (9-8). Now people will point out to me that it's hard to use that game as a guide because the Storm were without Jesse Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and Dale Finucane...and they would be right. Mind you the Chooks had half their engine room missing too (Cordnor, Waerea-Hargreaves, Aubusson and Matterson). It's not a perfect guide, but it's all we have, and that result tells us there isn't much between the sides. All those players that didn't play in Adelaide will be playing in the grand final, but the big difference is the obvious one. Cooper Cronk does for the Roosters what Smith does for the Storm. Cronk is the coolant that stops the Chooks engine from over-heating. He controls (or tries to control) the pace of the game and he tries to dictate where much of the game is played. In the absence of Cronk, which chicken puts their hand up for that role, and which chicken puts their hand up for a clutch field goal attempt in a grand final? The Storm have Smith (who did exactly that in the 1 point win in Adelaide), and the Chooks have a question mark. There is still the very slightest of chances that the Roosters are playing us all for a bunch of suckers – that the Cronk injury isn't what we all think it is and he can take the field with enough movement in the arm to kick and talk and hold his own in the defensive line. It would be quite the story if he did, and it's not a bad little tale for him to tell when he inevitably finds himself on the corporate speaking tour in retirement. He might play...but he probably won't. One player shouldn't make such a difference in a team game, but tell that to the Storm who lost a grand final 40-0 when Cameron Smith was suspended.

As we all know it's been a while since the NRL has seen a team win back-to-back premierships. I often speak of the NRL as being the most even sporting competition in the world...and it is. Since the Broncos won successive titles the AFL have had five teams win two in a row, the A-League (or equivalent) has had five, the English Premier League has had seven, the NFL three and the NBA ten. The Super Rugby has only been around since 1996 and they've had six since then. One of the strengths of our competition is that whatever team you support can, on their day, beat any other team in the competition. That's a great feeling to have before each and every game. It also speaks volumes about what the Storm are going to achieve on Sunday if they are to win. If they aren't the benchmark every season they are very close to it. They're an incredible team on the field and one of the best teams off the field. In a strange and foreign land, they have waved the rugby league flag and done so with good grace. They are hated by many, but unfairly I feel. A Cameron Smith field goal won the game in Adelaide, and he can do it again. It's all just a little bit of history repeating.

Verdict – Storm 17 : Roosters 16

First try scorer – Daniel Tupou

Clive Churchill Medalist – Cameron Munster

Result – Roosters 21 defeated Storm 6

Wally Lewis - grand final selection (in bold)

Note: tips from Wally will be published on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

  • Roosters vs STORM


The Thinker's picture

Greetings football fans

I have updated the tipping comp and published the page for the Grand Final. My little helper will need to add the tipping element in the days ahead, but feel free to tip early if you have to.

And feel free to chat about the grand final all week....if you wish.

Note that there are prizes for the top five in the tipping comp, and we have six tipsters in contention at this stage. In the event of a tie I will need to find a way to split the contestants. For the top six if I can ask you to add your tip and a margin in the comments here (eg. Storm by 1).

Also note there is a random prize for a tipster who has stuck it out all season but won't be in the finish.

Prizes are as follows:

First place – $200 (cash or NRL gift shop voucher)

Second place - $150 (cash or NRL gift shop voucher)

Third place - $100 (cash or NRL gift shop voucher)

Fourth and Fifth place - $50 (cash or NRL gift shop voucher)

Random Prize - $50 (cash or NRL gift shop voucher)

a's picture

Slater does not deserve to miss the final

TigerGirl's picture

Will have to think long and hard about the Grand final. It’s not going to be easy.

Brad S's picture

I agree with you “a”. It would be a real shame to see him miss the Grand Final over that. I’ve seen people post identical hits from other players in the past 24 hours that haven’t even warranted a penalty.

Friend’s tackle was worse and he got a slap on the wrist. It would be great to see both teams at full strength playing for the title.

mark ashford's picture

Hi "a" and Brad S
I've watched several replays of Slaters tackle and here is my opinion.
Yes his left arm was against his body bracing for the contact but his right arm was grasping the player to make the tackle. IMO he made enough attempt to avoid the shoulder charge tackle. The NSW centric judiciary will try to rub Billy out. He has a good legal team supporting him so I hope sanity prevails.
Yes Jake Friend escaped a suspension by an early plea and he will play. I'm happy with that. What I'm not happy with is the Rabbits players constantly smashing Cooper Cronk when they knew he was injured.
All of these hits went unpunished by the refs.....disgraceful.
I want to see a fully fit Roosters team play a complete Storm team including Slater in the GF.
If you Souths thugs thought you were doing Sydney a favour by flogging Cronk you may have just handed the Storm another title

Brad S's picture

Hi Mark,
It was pretty poor from the Rabbitohs purposely trying to take him out. Can you imagine what his old mates at Melbourne have got planned for him though? A long term club servant and friend (of most) won’t be enough to save him from Melbourne’s wrestling tactics. If he plays, I think Cooper will be avoiding getting tackled at all costs.

The Thinker's picture

If Cronk can't play couldn't the Roosters hand him a water bottle and give him an Alfie Langer type role in the GF?

The Thinker's picture

The Slater hearing is underway and....

Mitch Aubusson has been named in the seven for the Chooks. He looks more like a six than a seven but anyhoo.

mark ashford's picture

He could certainly help direct play from behind the line but do you think the refs would allow him a kick or two? All jokes aside I would love to see him and Slater play. It's the GF and all of us want to see the best play the best. Surely a couple of those "horse needles" can get him on the park.

mark ashford's picture

Thinker you're obviously wired in. Can you please post a Slater result when you know.

The Thinker's picture

Slater is presenting well. He's always been pretty good at making a point and he's doing very well tonight.

He, and his team, are giving him every chance here.

The Thinker's picture

A quick summary of the Slater defence:

  • Initial contact by Slater is with the left pectoral not the shoulder
  • What forces Feki over the sideline is contact with the hips not the shoulder
  • Feki changes direction toward Slater, meaning that contact between the players happened sooner than Slater had anticipated
  • Slater 'attempts' to use his arm in the tackle. The shoulder charge rule only requires an attempt to wrap (a bit of legalese going on here)
a's picture

In other news Ben Barba has signed with Cowboys

The Thinker's picture

Still waiting folks....the longer it takes the better his chances I think.

The Thinker's picture

He's playing

mark ashford's picture

Thank you THINKER, some sanity prevails. Now we just have to get Cooper fit to make it a contest.
Thanks for the continuous updates, now I can get some sleep!

Mary S's picture

So please to know Billy Slater is able to play & supporters/fans get the chance to see his skill & agility on the field one more time!!!

mark ashford's picture

Mary S
It would have been a tragedy if Billy had been sin binned for the GF.
One of the best players I have been privileged to see and no doubt the best fullback of the modern era.
Win or loose he will give his Storm the best chance of a win.
I'm just sorry it's the last time we will see BILLY THE KID play.
Go the Storm.

a's picture

I glad Billy Slater gets another chance to play

Anonymouse's picture

Could be the worst decision in judicial history
He had time to use his arms but failed
I guess if your name is already on the churchill medal you have to play
Nrl has just lost another fan

Baggy_Gee's picture

It is terrible, there should only ever be a consistent ruling and no bending. SOO, GF, round 1. It was a lousy attempt at tackle and at no point could you say it wasn't a shoulder tackle. Disappointed in the judiciary.

Anonymouse's picture

So just to make sure you agree with this decision
If it was Gallen or Burgess making that same tackle would you think the same?
What a bunch of amateurs

Mary S's picture

Looks like 'Anonymous' has mind reading abilities (or thinks he has) -where he is able to give, what he thinks are our answers to to his question.

My opinion to your question - if the judiciary found the same decision for Gallen or Burgess after the same arguments & footage were put before them, then an acceptance for the result would be in order, whether one liked the decision or not.

Like life - not everything goes as we might wish it to, but hate or rage gets us nowhere that is positive.

a's picture

Paul Gallen always gets off for everything

Anonymouse's picture

So just because I make a remark on this site I get Mary S presuming I’m a male at least I know what the S stands for SEXIST

Mary S's picture

No Anonymouse ,
I'm not sexist, and I will admit to making an error in not having written 'he/she' in my comments as your gender is unknown to posters on this site.

christine 's picture

Mary s
Your better than that they want a reaction don't give them one ...

mark ashford's picture

Mary S
There has always been an open honesty from the regular posters here about themselves. Anonymous ( now it's anonymouse) despite being asked has refused to reveal who he is. Yes I'm sticking with the "he" as I like you am entitled to do.
His reference to you as Mary SEXIST is beyond the pale and reminds me of attacks on Christine from potato head.
Don't ever think you need to offer an explanation or apology to this fool.
anonymouse you said the NRL has lost a fan.....so goodbye!

a's picture

Annoymous you need to apologise to Mary S

KellysLoot's picture

The guilt or innocence of Slater has divided the game but the Storm custodian and his defence team successfully argued that first contact was not made with the shoulder, that he used his arm in a wrapping motion and that he was not careless in his duty of care to Cronulla winger Sosaia Feki.
While the NRL will no doubt profess that justice has been served by the judiciary process, the greater issue at play is that yet another reactionary and knee-jerk decision by the game’s leadership has hurt the reputation of rugby league and made a mockery of the sport they are supposed to lead.
This is Grand Final week. The Dally M Medal is set to be awarded to the best player in the premiership. One of the game’s true greats, a likely future Immortal, is set to retire.
Yet since Friday, the only thing that has mattered in the Rugby League universe has been whether an ill-conceived rule that was implemented as an ad hoc reaction with no intention to prevent tackles like the one made by Slater could potentially rob him of a fairytale farewell.

mark ashford's picture

As you are a NSW supporter I can understand your frustration with the decision. The judiciary was warned not to let emotion cloud their decision. Billy and his team put up a good argument and the judiciary (2 xNSW players and 1 Qld) decided after a record breaking deliberation to clear Slater. What more do you NSW people want?

mark ashford's picture

Great comment and the points raised, I believe, reflects how we all feel.
I'm sure all NRL fans want the best playing the best. I'm not a Roosters or Storm fan just want to see a great game.

mark ashford's picture

With Billy free to play I must tip the Storm. So much finals experience in this team.
Roosters back to almost full strength (Cronk on the bench) but Latrelle and Napa are back.
Roosters will be dominate up the middle but Storms edges will win the contest.
Ist try scorer James Tedesco.
2nd try scorer Billy Slater.
Man of the match Cameron Smith.
Storm 20 Roosters 12

christine 's picture

Love the comment & I must say it's just another in justice by the nrl such as the time keeping debacle when manly played storm the nrl don't seem to stick to there own rules ...

Baggy_Gee's picture

Mark its not the point, If your guilty it makes no difference who you play for, or who you are. Come and watch a game with me when Parra plays anyone, I call it square and that goes both ways. I hate when they have squaring up penalties, or you can see the difference between the 2 teams that is unbalanced. Apart from the gut wrenching day when Todd announced the sanctions on Parra, have i ever SERIOUSLY defended what we did? No! It hurts because it is my team, but we filled it with muppets at the top and got what we deserved. Billy shouldn't be there, and that number 20 from the Bunnies who hit Cronk late in the second half should be rubbed out for a game or two come the start of next year.

christine 's picture

If you care to read the article at the end of this page it says Todd Greenberg has said the referee's could have sin binned billy for the shoulder charge & the article is by fox sport ...

mark ashford's picture

It's not my decision to let Slater play. I believe the judiciary gave him a fair hearing and like it or not he's playing.
I feel your pain re the Eels and if possible one day I would love to sit next to you when they play ….say the Broncos.
We could enjoy a beer and a pie and argue all the decisions.
Seriously mate I would enjoy that.

a's picture

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck Won the Daily M

Mary S's picture

'a" has given the info on the Dally M winner - a really close contest by all accounts!

Brisbane Broncos star Brittany Breayley has been named as the Dally M female player of the year.

The following are from the NRL website
"The positional players of the year have been announced. The winners are:
Fullback: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
Winger: Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)
Centre: Joseph Leilua (Canberra Raiders)
Five-eighth: Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Halfback: Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers)
Lock: Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Second-rower: Josh Jackson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Prop: Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Hooker: Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Interchange player: Jazz Tevaga (Warriors)"

Congratulations to all.

newbie from perth's picture

Sa-wat-dee krup,

Fair Warning: Reading time approximately 8 hours. Seriously.

OK, it's GF time and the “Big Day” is nearly upon us. Thankfully, this will be the last time this year y’all will have to endure reading Newbie’s “over lengthy mini-novel”, aka match comments. I know some may think I post comments as long as “War and Peace” but I’m a story teller at heart and can’t help myself. You’re just lucky I’m not actually talking to you face-to-face. I’m even worse if I’ve had a few sherbets in me (ha-ha). Anyways, I’ll be watching the GF (can’t wait) on Sunday, albeit hungover. I should be right by lunchtime though. I’ve committed to watching the AFL Grand Final because I haven’t been bonding with the boys this year and it’ll be good to catch up with them all and because my team (West Coast) have made it to the big stage (looking for redemption for 2015) and even though I haven’t followed it this year, the Eagles will give those Pies a floggin’. Dream scenario – Eagles win, Roosters win and the Roosters Women win. We all know that the world isn’t perfect so…

Usually I’m pretty crap at picking the Clive Churchill winner so I’m gonna “hedge my bets” and put out a few this year. Without any intended bias I’m thinking either Keary, Cordner, Munster or Smith. Just for shiz and giggles, I’m going first try scorer with either Tupou, Mitchell, Addo-Carr or Slater.

Good luck to my BBB (Beautiful Bondi Babes) in the Womens Grand Final. It’ll be tough to get over those Broncos but I’m still gonna shout out … Begurk! Begurk!

OK kids, without further ado, let’s get into it…

Roosters vs Storm 65-35 Sunday @ ANZ Stadium
Firstly, I must admit my “ratings” for the Grand Final (65-35 in favour of the Roosters) has me, and most probably the rest of you, a little confused and shaking our collective heads. Yeah, it surprised me too but hey, this is what the figures say so I’m sticking with them. Do I think the Roosters are a “65-35” chance against a Storm outfit that has Billy cleared to play, not to mention the doubt over the fitness of Cronk? Hmm, good question. Let me ponder some more.

This game should be close if what I saw on the NRL is any indication…

Points per game (regular season): Roosters 22.6 vs Storm 22.3
Points conceded per game (regular season): Roosters 15 vs Storm 15.1

All the new Roosters’ signings this year were obviously aimed at winning the GF. Part A (getting there) has been accomplished, all that’s left is Part B (winning it). Now that all the new guys have finally settled in, putting the icing on the cake is up to them in this year’s final game. It’s all or nothing. As good as we are defensively and assuming Cronk doesn’t play, I’m wondering if we can keep the Storm out while scoring enough points to win this. Someone needs to step up and marshall the troops and organise things so this can happen. I liked the way Keary took control last week so this will be interesting to see how well he goes the full 80 minutes in the absence of Cooper. If we’re “on song” I have no doubt whatsoever we can win a lot of the key match-ups here so anything’s possible. If we can replicate last week’s mighty defensive effort and score a few tries in the process, we can win this one.

Some positives for the Roosters will be the timely return of Messrs Mitchell and Napa. On top of that we’ll see one of my favourites Victor Radley getting a run in the starting 13 instead of being on the bench. The major negative is obviously having Cooper Cronk missing. Yeah OK, he’s been named as 23 but will most probably not play. I desperately hope he can but looking at him running around in last week’s game and the pain he was in, I just can’t see it happening (and yes he’ll be gutted but that’s life). Oh how wrong I wanna be with this. His kicking game is so important for us and if he doesn’t play, we’ll find it that much harder.

As we all know, Billy’s been cleared to play this week. Not that it was ever in doubt. Seriously, did anyone really think the NRL was gonna rob Billy of a GF appearance in his last ever game? Whether he was guilty or not is irrelevant in my opinion. I wouldn’t have suspended him for this. He’s too great a player to deny him his last hurrah. Even though I’d rather not have him causing my BBB problems (which he will), I am looking forward to seeing him play. Tons of respect and admiration for the guy. Billy’s a legend!

There’s a lot of talk around about the Storm going back-to-back. We all know they’re capable of doing just that and the “time is right” as they say. Billy and Cameron’s big-game experience and leadership abilities will come in handy for sure. Wily ol’ dogs they are.

I was pretty impressed with how the Storm took care of the Sharks last week. Mind you, the Sharks were missing a few players (on and off the field) and the Storm had scored 20 points by half-time anyway. I reckon we need to keep an eye out for Slater, Smith and Munster. All capable of winning it for the Storm. Mind you, their whole side is dangerous. Look, you gotta be pretty handy if you’re playing first grade for the Storm don’t ya? Melbourne’s overall experience and professionalism is definitely a worrying sign for the Roosters. Weighing all the factors together I can understand why the Storm are favourites in this game, and deservedly so. I’m not giving up on my BBB though as anything can happen in a GF. It’s all about how you’ve prepared, minimising mistakes, taking your chances and how much you want it.

To be brutally honest (that’s the sort of guy I am), my head is saying Melbourne and my heart is saying the Roosters. What the hell, I’m more than happy we got the Minor Premiership and made the Grand Final. Win or lose, I’m as happy as a pig in muck! Who’s my tip in this? Why, the Mighty Roosters of course. For the last time this season …. Begurk! Begurk!

P.S. While I have your attention (or are you all asleep by now?) just wanna give a big “thank you” as always to the Boss and his Little Helper for all the hard work they’ve put in this year. I’d be lost without you blokes, seriously. Thanks also to everyone here (and I mean absolutely everyone) for keeping me entertained and educating me over this 2018 footy season. I may not post as often as others but I do read every comment (well 99.9% of the time) and enjoy the banter, good or bad. Thank you guys and gals.

All that’s left to say is enjoy the game on Sunday and keep the faith in your footy side. Swings and roundabouts people, swings and roundabouts. I know it’s early but I’m already looking forward to next year. OK kids, thanks again for your company and catch you all next time. Peace!

For the last time this year (maybe) it’s “Song of the Week” time again…

This one’s for the Grand Final (sort of). Spoilers: No doubt both sides will be going the distance and whoever wins can celebrate by eating some cake…


And this one because I just wanna let you all know that whether you believe it or not, yes, you can dance…


Cheers y’all…

Mary S's picture

Hi Newbie,
Personally, I always enjoy your 'stories' every week in your take on the games ahead, and will miss them as the 2018 season comes to an end.
Agreed - the GF should be a cracker!

Enjoy your weekend - a major 'footy' one for you. West Coast were my team too during the 20 or so years I lived in WA. Hope they win!!!

I will listen to your SOW later as I'm getting organised to go to work.

Cheers for now,

The Thinker's picture


Thank you kind sir....don't ever leave us.

I'm not sure if you support the West Coast Eagles in the AFL...but good luck if you do. A weekend where both your teams are in the grand final....how cool if it be true.

All the best

Johnny Awesome's picture

Hi all,
My last comment was in April and since then a lot stuff has happened like leaving my job after 33 years and ongoing family issues, hence the lack of correspondence.
I’m positive that the everyday and unexpected stuff that affects all of us at some point will improve for me next year. Regardless of all that, I’d like to post a final comment for this year and a few random thoughts.
1. Saints managed to make the finals but I still don’t rate Paul McGregor as the right coach. He’s a good coach but not in the upper echelon where coaches need to be, to be competitive. A fellow Dragons mate said to me, surely the players have to take some responsibility and yep, he has a point. However, the strategies, tactics, training, rosters, mentoring come from the coaching staff and Saints won’t be a real premiership contender until that area is sorted. I hope I’m proven wrong and they become a real premiership contender next year….’Go the Dragons’.
2. I don’t care how it’s dressed up, Billy Slaters tackle was a shoulder charge. All Billy had to do was spread his arms and tackle as per normal. The player was defenceless running forward, he couldn’t defend a side attack in any shape or form. Side hits with a shoulder can be as brutal as a car accident in whiplash stakes. However Billy has given a very good defence and I think a lot of people have been taking notes so when a similar incident occurs next year or beyond, the ‘How to beat a shoulder charge book for Dummies’ Authors: Billy Slater in collaboration with the NRL will come in handy. In saying that, I think players and officials know this is a one off and let off for a true champion of the game, who had a minor brain explosion at the time. I’m personally happy he’s playing and I think the Roosters will be also. If the Roosters won there would always be conjecture that Billy wasn’t there and now Melbourne has no excuse. Couldn’t imagine a more exciting Grandfinal in recent years.
3. Lastly, thank you Mr Thinker allowing me on your site and being part of your footy comp for a few years now. Looking forward to tipping a tad better next year. Also good to see Mr ‘a’ and Christine contributing as always. For those of you that don’t know, Mr ‘a’ and Christine are among the originals to grace Mr Thinkers site, hey that’s sort of like celebrity status :-]
Once again, Mr Thinker and your helpers, thanks for a great site.
Anyway, a big cheers, good health to you all and catch up next year.
Kind regards from the original Mr Johnny Awesome.

a's picture

Here’s my score

Storm 20 tires Dale Finucane 2 Will Chamber goals Cameron Smith 4/6 Roosters 14 tires Mitchell Aubusson 2 Daniel Tupou goals Latrell Mitchell 1/2

Clive Churchill medal Cameron Smith

mark ashford's picture

A novel you have written this week!
But I enjoyed every word. Your insight into the game (as a newbie?) doesn't give credence to your name. I, like most on this site, look forward to your weekly post. You have both Eagles and Roosters in grand finals so I wish you well. Better ring the boss and tell him you will be late in on Monday.
SOTW here you score 1/2. "the distance" is one of my favourites.
The other one...just left me shaking my head.

mark ashford's picture

Johnny Awesome
Reading between the lines of your post I detect a fair bit of hurt there.
You are one of the Thinkers family and if there's anything any of us can do please call out.
The Slater decision has been made so like it or hate it, it is what it is.
The Broncs have said they don't want Bennett after 2019. Would you be happy to see him return to the Dragons. Mary got you to the finals is he so bad?

christine 's picture

Johnny Awesome
Pleased to hear the call out how is that daughter of yours going is she still having a hard time at school ? - please let her know from me that things will get easier in time & help her stay strong by being supportive johnny which I know you are it's important for her that she knows your there for her & if there is anything I can do to assist just ask ...

newbie from perth's picture

Look, there’s been no comments for a (short) while so how about I fill up a page or two eh?

@ Mary

Thanks for the kind words Mary. When you say you’ll miss my “stories” when the season comes to an end I get, well, all “misty eyed” as they say. Nah, just kiddin’. But seriously, thanks again. Yeah, this weekend’s Grand Finals will definitely be a test, maybe even an overload for me (emotionally that is) should I lose both (or all 3) of them. But I will survive, win or lose. Good to hear you’re an Eagles girl. I always thought you were top class! Oh BTW, just a warning on the 2 SOTW videos I put up. You may or may not like the second one. Just ask Mark (ha-ha). Cheers.

@ The Boss

You’re quite welcome Thinker. No, I can’t see myself leaving this wonderful place any time soon. Yes, I’ve been an Eagles fan since day one. The 2 premierships they won back in ’92 and ’94 forged a permanent bond in my heart that will never be broken. Even when the Fremantle Dockers came into the AFL, and me being a Freo boy born’n’bred, I still couldn’t jump ship. Stayed with the Eagles while most of my friends and family (actually all of them) moved over to “the dark side”. Who’s laughin’ now eh? Mind you, this year was when I decided to “pull the pin” on the AFL. The powers that be have sunk this once great game into the depths of stupidity and irrelevance. For me at any rate. Too many idiots trying to be politically correct and trying to make it “family friendly” by making too many wrong decisions. I’ll stop here as there’s not enough room for me to explain it all properly and anyway, this is an NRL site so I need to show the love for the “real” footy. Yeah, both teams in the Grand Final. Possible heartache or total bliss. Maybe half and half. Let’s wait and see…

@ Mr Awesome

Great to see ya back mate, albeit in the last week. Good to see you have a positive outlook brother. That’s the sort of stuff I like to hear. Rock on bro’. Agree with your comments regarding the Dragons and most of your take on Billy. Looking forward to seeing you back on here next year. Cheers mate…

@ Mr Ashford

Yeah, a “novel” this week indeed. Thought I’d “go hard or go home” for the Grand Final edition (ha-ha). If I actually have any “insight” at all it’s totally down to watching more footy on the TV (thank you Ch9) and all the tidbits I’ve picked up here on the Thinker’s site. The footy comes so easily for all you over on the East Coast (and so it should) but me being a West Aussie who grew up with Aussie Rules, my learning curve is taking some time. Hey, without getting too far ahead of myself, I reckon I’m nearly there thanks to you guys.

No need to have Monday off as I’ll be hungover from Saturday’s game and can guarantee you I won’t be getting anywhere near alcohol on Sunday (ha-ha). Pretty sure you guys have Monday off for Labour Day or something and Qld for Liz's birthday? All I know is we had our Queen’s Birthday holiday Monday this week. Enjoy yourselves on Monday regardless.

Finally, I hope the second SOTW had you shaking your head because you were “groovin’ along” brother. Look, do me a favour and play it again when no-one’s around and just get up and dance “silly”. Guarantee you’ll either laugh or suddenly realise that you can dance with the best of ‘em. Mate, your comment gave me a giggle so that’ll do me. Cheers…


NRL tipping is easier if you follow the NRL news