Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
The camera pans across the faces of the players in this years' Grand Final. The image we see is of each team members? arms linked, shoulder to shoulder with them belting out the national anthem. A group of five players from each team step forward. In the first group we have Craig Wing, Adrian Morley, Craig Fitzgibbon, Brad Fittler and Kirk Reynoldson. In the second group Trent Barrett, Nathan Blacklock, Hazem El Masri , Andrew Johns, and Jason Cayless. These two teams and the ten players have proven that they have got what it takes; they are the best in their field and are ready to embark in a game that has the Rugby League community enraptured.
There is no greater accolade in representing your team in a Grand Final and it shows on the faces of the contenders. As the camera moves in for a closer shot, we see not the faces of the ten well known football stars, but ten unknown faces, these people are the fans. The crowd goes wild as their images are flashed on the big screen. In the East?s jersey we have Ozzie, Backpacker, Morticia, Lord Reynoldson and Catatonic-Omnivore. For Newtown Willow, Gorilla, Moffo, Roopy, and Hass will strut there stuff.
These players, the cr?me de la cr?me of the Forum 7?s, have served their team and the game well all season. Young Moffo, the heartthrob and pretty boy of Newtown, who has shown that despite good looks, youth and the ability to party can produce top flight football articles. The Backpacker, a true gentleman whose articles and big hits leave the opposition gasping. Then we have Gorilla, Forums Player of the Year, a big man with a big heart, and his tackle on the scales. He won?t be backing down in this game.
Willow versatile, and most definitely the Bluebags utility, seeming to effortlessly produce quality week in week out. Ozzie, captain extraordinaire, producing articulate and tear jerking performances throughout the year, with a penchant for sleeping outside police stations, has developed a team of unknowns. Moticia is the bomb, kicking 40/20?s all season, purring class all over the park, with Fitzgibbon like precision.
Catatonic Omnivore making his second first grade experience, a novice, an unknown and undoubtedly at this stage a complete wreck. With an outstanding debutante performance, the pressure is enormous. Lord Reynoldson, like his name sake, down to earth, who doesn?t call a spade a digging thingo, is merciless in attack and will hit hard in defense. Roopy is the Knights Lancelot and Hass swoops in from the clouds most games, tackles hard and has no trouble getting over the line.
Just before the whistle blows each player becomes reflective. Thinking back on the past seasons performances. Each player is committed to representing Rugby League issues in a professional, intelligent and informative manner.
You see folks, the only way you will get to read this article, is if for some reason one of the run on team can not play. I?m playing from the bench this game, and with the pressure off, I have spent the Grand Final week, reminiscing, ruminating and remembering. I recall the first private message I received from Ozzie asking me to join the team. I was proud and took the challenge for one reason, ?to keep the bastards honest?.
This season has seen a split from the original site, a move that has proven to be the best for the game. Every player who stuck with the game, has breathed life and improvement into the Forum 7?s. Every player who stuck with the game, can congratulate themselves for loyalty and in many instances courage under fire.
In a gesture rarely seen on field and only seconds ?prior? to kickoff, these players turn to each other, extend a hand and wish the opposition good luck for what will be a Grand Final to Remember.
Posted in the 'The Front Row' Forum Sevens Competition. To view the full competition, click here.
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