Form points to Broncos but Cowboys have fairytale factor

Johnathan Thurston and Corey Parker are primed for Sunday's NRL grand final.
Johnathan Thurston and Corey Parker are primed for Sunday's NRL grand final.

IT was one of the most memorable moments in rugby league grand final history. A skinny, young Jonathan Thurston has just given an emotional post-match speech declaring departing Canterbury Bulldogs skipper Steve Price as the "greatest man on this earth".

The year was 2004 and Thurston had moments earlier confirmed that he gave his premiership ring to Price, who was injured a week earlier.

Now, 11 long years later, the North Queensland captain has his chance to grab a ring to mount on the mantelpiece. One that he wouldn't give away if his life depended on it.

The epic showdown will pit two Queensland teams against each other in the grand final for the first time in history.

Form points to a Broncos victory. The Cowboys are simply too sporadic.

Led by the greatest player to lace a boot, perhaps even Thurston can't tame Wayne Bennett's extremely well drilled and consistent Broncos.

The Broncos finished the season in second place and were the definition of calm throughout their campaign.

Building each victory on defence, Bennett's men were the third best defending side in 2015 and partnered that with the sublime attack of gun halves Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford.

Everyone south of the border seems to be on the Cowboys bandwagon, but Thurston's men will have quite a task ahead of them if they are to take out the crown.

Yes, they have a quality side across the board, but have shown signs of inconsistency this year with their inability to start a match on the front foot sure to be a concern to coach Paul Green.

On the other hand, Brisbane's team is chock-a-bloc full of experienced campaigners, particularly in the forwards, with exciting players like Hunt and Milford taking the attack by the scruff of the neck.

The fairytale has written itself at this point. On the back of another Dally M medal and the resurgence of his story of selflessness, a Cowboys victory would fit the script.

However the Broncos have the form and the greatest coach of all time behind the wheel.

One thing is for sure, it will be a cracker of a match that you will not want to miss.


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