We have finally reached the business end of the season in both the AFL and NRL with the Sydney Roosters taking on the Melbourne Storm in the NRL grand final and the West Coast Eagles taking on the Collingwood Magpies in AFL.
STORM DOMINATE SHARKS
The Melbourne Storm flexed their muscle on Friday night, dominating the Cronulla Sharks 22-6 at AAMI park on Friday night. The sharks tried to set the tone early with some big hits in defence, but the Storm equal to the task. Billy Slater had a great game scoring two tries but will have a nervous wait ahead of the Grand Final after being charged by the match review committee for a shoulder charge on Sharks winger Sosia Feki. Unfortunately Sharks second rower Luke Lewis didn’t get the fairy-tale ending he would of wanted but he played strongly in his last game.
ROOSTERS GET THE LAST LAUGH OVER RIVALS
The Sydney Roosters overcame their bitter rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs to book the other spot on next week’s grand final with a 12-4 win. In a game that was marred by poor ball handling, the Roosters defence was the shining light for the team from Redfern keeping the Rabbitohs try less. The biggest thing to come out of the game was the injury to Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk who injured his shoulder, to his credit Cronk finished out the game but he may of paid a bigger price as he is in doubt for the grand final against his former club. Even though they fell one game short, the Rabbitohs had a great season and have some good things to look forward to next season.
MAGPIES SWOOP ON TIGERS
The Collingwood Magpies end the Richmond Tigers dream of back to back premierships running out 97-58 winners over their more fancied rivals. Everything went the Pies way as they kicked five goals in the first term, the Magpies continued the dominance after in the second quarter racing out to a 64-22 half time lead. The Tigers mounted a comeback in the third kicking 4 goals to the Pies 2 to be 33 points down going into the fourth quarter. Kicking the first two goals of the fourth quarter, it looked like the Pies may get over run but were able to keep their cool and kick the next three goals to win a spot in the grand final. American Mason Cox was the Pies best as fans at the MCG even chanting ‘USA’ at one stage, with Jordan De Goey also playing a key role in the victory. For the Tigers Jack Reiwoldt and Captain Trent Cotchin were the best in a beaten side.
EAGLES SMASH DEES
In the Second preliminary final the West Coast Eagles steamrolled over the Melbourne Demons 121-55. The Dees were completely over run only kicking six behinds in the first half. Even when the Eagles missed the intended mark there were plenty of other Eagles players around to pick up the pieces. The Eagles made the Dees pay for their mistakes and kicking 10 goals in. The Dees found a little bit of rhythm in the third quarter kicking three goals but the Eagles were just relentless going into the three quarter time up by 61 points. The fourth quarter saw the Eagles three goals to two winning by 66 points. The fairy-tale wasn’t to be for the Dees who saved their worst performance for last but can take a lot of positives out the 2018 season. The Eagles will head into the grand final with a lot of confidence after that performance. On a day where everyone was at their best, Josh Kennedy and Jack Redden and Jack Darling were the standouts.
VIKINGS MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW
The Canberra Vikings have continued their winning ways notching win number three with a win over the NSW Country Eagles with a come from behind 24-17 victory. Vikings number 12 Jordan Jackson-Hope scored the match winner after the siren. Heading into the match, Vikings were expected to be the clear favourites but someone forgot to tell the Eagles as they led with two minutes left on the clock, however a penalty goal to the Vikings leveled the scores before Jackson hope went over for the match winner.
PLAY OF THE WEEKEND
While a number of instances stood out from the weekend, my pick for play of the weekend goes to Storm fullback Billy Slater for his second try against the sharks on Friday night. It was vintage Cameron Smith/Billy Slater as Smith out a grubber through for his fullback to get the ball down over the try line, It’s a combination that will be sorely missed for the Storm next year.
Cover Image @sydneyroosters