Competition -  NRL Premiership.
Round - Round 26
Date  -   September 3rd 2016.
Teams - Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks.
at - AAMI Park Melbourne.
Pic - © NRL Photos.

Melbourne Storm v Cronulla Sharks
Sunday October 2, 7.15pm
ANZ Stadium

So it all comes down to this.
The 2016 NRL decider will be Storm’s seventh Grand Final and six in the last 11 years, while this is largely unchartered territory for the Sharks who have been here only twice before are searching for their first premiership in 49 years.
If their two previous encounters are anything to go buy this season, we could be set for a classic.
Melbourne and Cronulla have progressed to the big dance on the back of contrasting game plans. Storm pride themselves on having the best defence in the NRL and look to utilize their high completion rate in attack. The Sharks on the other hand play a much more up-tempo style, looking to use their pace across the field to break the opposition’s line at will. Which style wins out remains to be seen.
The Sharks have named Sam Tagataese in their 17 after his two-month absence due to a fractured shoulder blade while Craig Bellamy has added five players (Felise Kaufusi, Matt White, Ryan Morgan, Slade Griffin, Young Tonumaipea) into his Grand Final squad.

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Key Matchups:

Jesse Bromwich v Andrew Fifita
Big games are won by big men are these two are among the biggest in the NRL. Expect the foundations of ANZ Stadium to shake when these two goliaths run at each other on Sunday night. Fifita has been at his tackle-breaking best this season and ranks second in the NRL for total runs. He will be up against the Dally M Prop of the Year in Jesse Bromwich, who again has been a picture of consistent brilliance this season. Bromwich is also no stranger to the Grand Final stage, having been a part of the Club’s success in 2012.

Cameron Munster v Ben Barba
Grand Finals are often decided by moments of brilliance and these two fullbacks are certainly capable of providing just that. Both possess the X-factor capable of throwing up the unpredictable and have proven they can perform on the big stage with the eyes of the rugby league world upon them. They will need plenty of help from their teammates to put them in dangerous positions and once they are there, whichever player can make the most of it will give their side a significant advantage.
 

History: Played 31; Storm 21, Sharks 10. Melbourne have won 13 of the past 15 meetings between the two teams.
 

What we’ve said:

“I am really proud of (the players) but I am really happy for them too because I genuinely believe that the opportunity they’ve given themselves on Sunday night, they really deserve it” – Craig Bellamy

“You can try and dissect and analyse this game as much as possible but it will come down to whoever executes their game plan the best on Sunday” – Cooper Cronk

“It’s a big occasion, huge crowd, huge atmosphere and if we are ready to go mentally that should help us to put in a good performance” – Cameron Smith

“The reason (the Sharks) have been so successful this year has been their forward pack” – Jason Ryles
 

What they’ve said:

"Complete. They just complete and they’re ruthless and relentless in what they do. You hear people say you know what’s coming with them. Well it’s easy to know what’s coming but it’s hard to stop” – Paul Gallen

"I've cut out the social media, I've cut out the news and everything like that for a couple of weeks now. It's cleared my head. Mentally and physically, I've felt pretty good ever since" – Chad Townsend 
 

Match Officials: Referee - Matt Cecchin; Assistant - Ben Cummins; Touch Judges - Jeff Younis & Brett Suttor; Review Officials - Luke Patten & Ashley Klein; Senior Review Official - Bernard Sutton.
 

Broadcast: TV – Channel 9 LIVE, Radio - ABC Grandstand, Triple MMM & 2GB, Online – NRL Digital Pass.
 

Squads:

Melbourne Storm

Cronulla Sharks

1. Cameron Munster

1. Ben Barba

2. Suliasi Vunivalu

2. Sosaia Feki

3. William Chambers

3. Jack Bird

4. Cheyse Blair

4. Ricky Leutele

5. Marika Koroibete

5. Valentine Holmes

6. Blake Green

6. James Maloney

7. Cooper Cronk

7. Chad Townsend

8. Jesse Bromwich

8. Andrew Fifita

9. Cameron Smith ©

9. Michael Ennis

10. Jordan McLean

10. Matt Prior

11. Kevin Proctor

11. Luke Lewis

12. Tohu Harris

12. Wade Graham

13. Dale Finucane

13. Paul Gallen (c)

 

 

Interchange:

Interchange:

14.  Kenny Bromwich

14. Gerard Beale

15. Tim Glasby

15. Chris Heighington

16. Christian Welch

16. Sam Tagataese

17. Ben Hampton

17. Jayson Bukuya

18. Young Tonumaipea

18. Kurt Capewell 

19. Slade Griffin

21. Joseph Paulo

20. Matt White

 

21. Felise Kaufusi

 

22. Ryan Morgan