Monday 17 December 2012 11:02 PM
At the beginning of every season the grand final re-match between the previous year’s two most successful clubs is always keenly awaited. 2013 will be no exception when Canterbury travels south to visit the reigning premiers in Round 3.
With numerous mouthwatering head to head battles sprinkled all across the park, it his hard to pick a standout match-up. One that will have many pundits will be watching however is the battle between two of the competition’s premier fullbacks. 2012 Dally M medallist Ben Barba will go up against Queensland and Australian fullback Billy Slater in a clash that is sure to entertain.
Off the park, two of master tacticians will once again try and out do each other. Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler will add another chapter to a great rivalry that dates back to Hasler’s time with the Sea Eagles.
In addition to last season’s Grand Final, the Bulldogs and Storm produced brilliant contests during the home and away season. Melbourne claimed initial bragging rights in Round 7 with a hard fought 12-6 win over the Bulldogs at AAMI Park. Canterbury managed to even the ledger in Round 16 in Mackay before Melbourne claimed ultimate glory on the final day of the season.
With Thursday night football coming to Melbourne, one of the major talking points leading into the contest will be player selection. Coming off an away trip to North Queensland only five days beforehand, Craig Bellamy’s squad will be under pressure to back up for the Thursday night match.