The Melbourne Storm are the 2012 Premiers after defeating the Canterbury Bulldogs 14-4.
The Storm came into the Grand Final in great form and simply looked to be playing on a completely different level to the Bulldogs. In a game that was dominated by brilliant coaching by from both sides, the execution the Storm showed in attack and defense was incredible. The thing I really enjoyed about this game was seeing the adjustments both teams had made to their defense to counter the oppositions attack.
At the end of the day that is where the Storm really excelled. Their ability to shut down the Bulldogs unique style of play before they could attack down the edges stifled the Bulldogs attack all night and really showed a flaw in their game plan. The Dogs didn’t really have much in attack straight up the middle of the field and you have to look at Michael Ennis and his lack of running game as a real problem for the Bulldogs if they are going to improve on this season.
On the other side of the field, the Storm were just brilliant. I thought Cameron Smith should have won the Clive Churchill medal. His form over the final series was second to none. The award was given to Cooper Cronk though who had a fine game. His kicking game in particular was a big difference between these two teams.
The Storm are just so well coached. The plays they put on in attack are breathtaking I’ve never seen a team at any level that has the ability to put on such complex plays, all of which have so many variations, do it with such precision and then be able to repeat the results time after time. It really is incredible the level of football the Melbourne Storm have reached and when they are on song, they can no be stopped.
Now, I have to address this, and I know you’ve been waiting to read by thoughts on THAT moment.
When the referee said there had been a biting allegation I was a bit surprised, but I thought there probably wouldn’t be much to see. So when there was clear footage of Fat Prince Harry grabbing Billy Slater and munching his hear like Mike Tyson at an all you can eat Evander Holyfield restaurant, I was simply overjoyed!
It was a batshit crazy moment! What people aren’t mentioning is that, Slater was out of it. The fight was elsewhere. Graham had to run through the pack to find Slater, grab him, and the first thing he did was bit his ear!
Once a biter, always a biter!
You could actually see Slater ear was red and swollen from where he was bitten! It was fantastic and I’ll be honest, it was the moment that made the Grand Final for me!
I think Graham should get at least 12 weeks for that. He went after Slater to bite him. You can not argue what happened or what he did. For Graham, this is going to live with him forever. He will always be that crazy Pommy idiot that bit Billy Slater. Its a bit of a shame too because he had a good first season in the NRL. Now, he is going to miss a massive chunk of his second season, and deservedly so.
You have to give a lot of credit to Craig Bellemy for the way he managed to keep this Storm team together and for the way he continues to find players other clubs do not want and gets the most out of them. The Storm are losing a few players to other clubs for next season, however you just know they won’t miss a beat.
Forget everyone else, Craig Bellemy is the best coach the game has ever seen, and its not even close. The level he is working on is simply outstanding!
The Storm are worthy Premiers in 2012 and this win goes a long way to erasing the demons of their past salary cap breaches. It also also secures the place of Smith, Slater and Cronk as some of the highest achievers in Rugby League over the last 30 years.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com