NRL Grand Final Kick-Off Time Changed

Cowboys will have captain's run at Kagarah so Macklemore can rehearse. Pic Getty

"They're excited but relaxed at the same time which is a good sign".

Can legendary Melbourne Storm trio Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk add more silverware to their bulging trophy cabinets? The two are fast becoming North Queensland legends, if they weren't already. By anyone's standards, it is an awesome roster. Morgan has driven the Cowboys to this unlikely grand final appearance and along with wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo will be key to how they perform on the night.

By all accounts, including the bookies, it should be a Storm success come Sunday. "What they do speaks for themselves really", Fonua says.

"The team and the club's very successful and professional".

"We have a Melbourne old boys' weekend every year where we go down, we mingle with the players. That's what the culture does to the players down there".

"It's not about my opinion of him as a player". He knows the way they operate intimately.

"From there I knew everyone was doing everything for each other". Their coach is the heavily experienced Craig Bellamy, victor of three titles already.

Furner was there to watch the Cowboys topple the Sydney Roosters and he'll take his place in the stands on Sunday as North Queensland aim for a boilover. Surely the Cowboys might as well give up now.

Think Eddie the Eagle, Leicester City winning the Premier League, Greece claiming the Euro 2004 title, Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson, David against Goliath, that sort of thing.

This is how to really appreciate the magnitude of North Queensland's against-the-odds run to reach the NRL grand final.

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The unfancied Wests Tigers did the same in 2005.

Slater is my pick for Man of the Match.

History is there to be rewritten. Parramatta almost beat Melbourne the other week. The Cowboys rake has been solid in defence over the last few weeks but hasn't had the chance to showcase his deadly running game - although Melbourne are so adept at controlling the ruck, Granville only needs one chance to break a game right open. In just 20 seasons Melbourne have reached eight grand finals and 17 finals series. Spots for the NRL grand final are worth around $125,000 per 30-second ad. It's important to get a bit of a roll on, especially off the back of Taumalolo, he can run out and wreak some havoc.

Melbourne will also target the Cowboys' front row pair of John Asiata and Scott Bolton.

Exhaust Melbourne's middle, wear down Smith and their heavy forward pack.

But Thurston is hardly the NRL's highest-paid cheerleader.

And they have parlayed that reprieve into three consecutive boilovers and a grand final appearance. The Cowboys certainly believe they can do it. Morgan is in career-best form.

They have the confidence and belief to get the job done, even if it goes to extra-time. They are tenacious, gutsy and will never surrender.

North Queensland is dripping with destiny.

The test they faced against the Eels in week one showed how they can take those body blows and completely change their plan to suit the game.


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