What a year we’ve had – the Raiders were victorious in round one, Mark Gasnier retired, Darren Lockyer single-handedly won State of Origin and Billy Slater was identified as the guy in the Prime Possum costume. But the best part about season 2011 is the way that it ended: with Todd Carney on the unemployed list.
As the dust settles on season 2011, it has inevitably come down to two teams to duke it out in the Granny. Personally, I think throwing an extra team onto the field could create some excitement, but some people are traditionalists and just want to let the Manly Sea Eagles and the New Zealand Warriors play.
I think it’s safe to say that both teams stayed out of the spotlight for the majority of the season; Manly only drew attention to themselves towards the back-end of the year when St George decided to lay down their guns and not win any more, and NZ just kept sneaking their way forward, using the fact that everyone kept thinking that because they weren’t Australian that they must be shit as a very effective shield. Even now, Centrebet are offering better odds for Brisbane to win than the Warriors.
Both teams are coming into the match on the back of some shit-hot form, and it will all depend on who maintains their composure as to who will win. Personally, I think both teams have enough young’uns in their squad playing in crucial positions that the pressure of the game could squash their feeble brains. However, if everyone keeps their heads and Manly can get a roll on, they could even repeat their 40-0 demolition of the Storm a few years back. Hopefully that won't happen; for one, no one wants a shitty one-sided grand final; and two, no one wants that amount of smug Manly fans wandering around again.
Mister Evil Breakfast’s Tip:
Manly will probably win – but if you have a lobster that you’re dying to spend, throw it on the Warriors by 13+. Everyone’s expecting a bit of razzle-dazzle footy from the Kiwis, but if they can stick to a controlled and mature game, they’ll probably surprise everyone (including themselves) -the Storm are still undergoing eyebrow reconstructive surgery to overcome their surprise from last week.
This is why Australia keeps losing to New Zealand - they aren't focussed.
MEB cumulative score: 123