It is a week where journalists are scratching and pillaging for any kind of article. The 2012 Telstra Premiership will be decided on Sunday between the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm.
Some might say it’s a stretch, but there are some alarming similarities between these two proud clubs. Before you heckle me and send me back to the insane asylum, have a look for yourself.
The siege mentality doesn’t help every side. But it definitely has helped the Storm and the Bulldogs. For different reasons, both sides have taken an “us against them” approach to 2012.
It has been a mission two years in the making for the Storm since they were stripped of their premierships in 2010. Dirty money was spent and history was taken away from them.
Canterbury’s redemption from the depths of despair has also come from money. There was no salary cap rorting from the Bulldogs. Sonny Bill Williams’ departure and ongoing poor performances meant Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg had to spend up and change the moral fiber of the club.
Come to think of it, there was salary cap rorting from the Bulldogs.
In 2002, the ‘Dogs were stripped of 37 competition points and any chance of winning the premiership. Both sides have dragged themselves from their self inflicted abyss.
Both sides have extremely intense head coaches. Des Hasler and Craig Bellamy are the very best in the business and are ruthless tacticians.
Then there’s the 2012 Dally M Medalist Ben Barba and the 2011 winner Billy Slater. The most exciting fullbacks in the world today.
Both teams have Kiwi enforcers in Greg Eastwood and Sika Manu.
If anything, the Bulldogs have an advantage with their front row rotation. Sam Kasiano, Aiden Tolman and James Graham are the most dangerous props in the game today.
But if you want to talk about an advantage, look no further. Five words. Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith.
Chris Anderson won a premiership as coach with the Bulldogs and the Storm.
“Its hard to pick” Anderson told Fox Sports earlier in the week.
“I think Melbourne were really good earlier in the year … struggled a little later in the year. The last two games in the semis they really stepped up again”.
“Its going to be a contract of styles. Canterbury like to throw the ball around and Melbourne are going to come through the middle.”
So who is the great man tipping?
“My heart tells me the Doggies”.