Sep 28, 2017 05:09 AM
Cowboys will ride high with Grand Final victory
Support for NRL Grand Final underdogs North Queensland Cowboys continues to
build with Michael Morgan a surprise runner up in Daly M Medal, player of the
year on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the week Cooper Cronk declared Morgan as the best half back in the
NRL right now. Morgan and Cronk played together in three State of Origins and
also represented Australia, when Cronk quietly gave Morgan some valuable advice
during and origin camp that helped Morgan refresh a new mindset and polish his
Cronk admitted he may live to regret the advice he gave to Morgan but added
that the Cowboys number seven had worked hard on his game under the guidance
of coach Paul Green and the masterly leadership of Jonathan Thurston. The Storm
half-back sees Morgan as one of the main reasons why the Cowboys have made it
to the Grand Final.
The Hulk can destroy The Storm
And while the experts might be tipping the Melbourne Storm to take Rugby League's
most coveted trophy back to Victoria, one man may hold the key to breaking the
Storm's defense, raining on Cooper Cronk's victorious farewell.
That man is Kiwi and Tongan international and Cowboys superstar Jason Taumalolo.
He has admirers a plenty among NRL fans and experts, but it's not just
his eyecatching performances that attract all the attention, Taumalolo also
has the stats to back up his steam rolling attacking style of footy.
This year has seen the Cowboys number 13 rack up an impressive 4230 running
metres for the season, the second year he has ticked over the 4000 metres, that's
almost 1000 metres more than the Storm's best running man, Josh Addo-Carr
with 3327 metres.
Every time the hulking 191 cm, 113kg Taumalolo runs out onto the field he's
averaging 201 metres per game.
Taumalolo sparks fear into the opposition, he runs straight and hard with unrelenting
power and breaks the line through sheer determination and strength. His barnstorming
brand of league could be the key to tire the Storm's forwards and create
opportunities for Morgan and ultimately points for the Cowboys.
And if his blitzing game against the Roosters on Saturday night where he made
256 metres is anything to go by, the Storm will need to have him well and truly
contained during the grand final or risk having him gain valuable metres into
NRL legend Andrew Johns said he's never seen a forward like him, he has
been the Cowboy's best player this season and believes he is crucial to
the Cowboys success.
And just in case Taumalolo needed anymore fire in his game, Wednesday night
he was controversially left out of the selections for "Team of the Year"
at the Daly M Awards, certain to lift the star to another level on Sunday.
Taumalolo is at $10 in betting to take out the Clive Churchill medal, and Morgan
is $10 with Ladbrokes.
If Taumalolo wins, it will be the second year in a row a Lock has won the prestigious
prize, with the Sharks's Luke Lewis taking it out in 2016.
Watch Sunday's Grand Final live on Channel 9. Pre- match entertainment
from ANZ Stadium starts at 6.30pm with the game kicking off at 7.15pm.