Tuesday, 3 October 2017

NRL Grand Final 2017

The NRL Grand Final this year wasn't an all-time classic like in 2015, nor did it come down to the wire and deliver a fairytale ending like 2016.

The best team all season clinically beat the outsider that had defied the odds to get there. There were no surprises.

In that sense, it reminded me a lot of the 1994 Grand Final, where Canberra beat Canterbury. Also the 1998 Grand Final, where Brisbane beat Canterbury. And of course, the 2014 Grand Final where Souths beat Canterbury.

That isn't to say there weren't some memorable moments in the game. My favourite moment from the 2017 Grand Final was this...

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt caught a misdirected cross-field kick from Cronk as the halftime buzzer blared. He stepped inside two players in broken play, at which stage it looked like having avoided any danger, he would surrender in a tackle and everyone would head to the sheds. But Feldt had other ideas - he showed unexpected acceleration to get through a small gap before four Storm players could box him in. Then as he motored down field, he fended off another cover defender, which left him stumbling in the picture above, and by that point there are more than half the Storm players chasing him. The ridiculous run came to its inevitable end not long after. It was arguably an utterly pointless passage of play. But I would argue the point was to give a beaten side hope for the second half.

And the Cowboys did score first, to make a game of it.

Then the Storm repelled the Cowboys next attacking opportunity, where a try might have made it really interesting, and the game was over.

For the Storm, Billy Slater got the Clive Churchill Medal for best on ground, continuing the recent tradition of the judges not actually picking the best player on the field. It was Cameron Smith, or perhaps Tohu Harris.

Of course, the real most memorable moment of the Grand Final was the entertainment.

With all controversy about Macklemore and his 'political' song Same Love, and with The Killers delivering a classic crowd-pleasing dad rock performance at the AFL Grand Final the previous day, it appeared the NRL were doomed to repeat its most memorable Grand Final entertainment disasters: Billy Idol (power outage, not his fault) and Meatloaf (terrible, totally his fault).

Instead Macklemore delivered, the crowd delivered, the moment delivered. Ask Ian Roberts.

Since they couldn't find an anti-equality song for balance, as suggested by Peter Dutton, there was a no campaign commercial aired. I missed it.

So the worst ad I actually saw during the Grand Final was for Bunnings, where one of their "employees" suggested that after the footy season is the perfect time to do all those odd jobs you've been putting off. You know, to watch the footy.

My wife asked whether I was putting off jobs around the house because of the footy season.

I replied that I was putting off jobs around the house because I hate doing them.

It was a stupid commercial.

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