Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The Dragons vs. Broncos match at Suncorp this weekend will be an absolute beauty. A bell ringer. A real doozy. A match that years from now will have grown men still arguing over contentious decisions and becoming all misty eyed when they think back to that magical September night. A match that, in no doubt, is worthy of a Grand Final.
And here in lies the problem. Unfortunately the most enticing of all possible match ups and arguably the biggest rivalry in the game has once again flopped itself into the second week of the finals rather than on the big day itself. Of course there is no one to really blame for this, as tempting as it is to join the bandwagon of McIntyre and Matt Cooper bashers, it's just an honest to God shame that two clubs with such a legacy seem forever destined to let the ghosts of the early 90s lie dormant.
The levels of rivalry between the two clubs runs deep. Whilst separated by simple geography both clubs have come to share a hunger for success that is flamed by their demanding fan bases. The Broncos have forever had the pick of Queensland's top players and since their merger with Illawarra in 1999 the Dragons have looked at early September as a mere launching pad for greater glory.
History has played its part too, with a certain degree of animosity still lingering between the two from early 90's Grand Finals, Allan Langer vocals and Anthony Mundine birthday cakes. To be fair though this has mellowed somewhat over the last couple of years with Dragons and Broncos fans finally finding something they can agree on...the genius of Wayne Bennett.
And this is where things get interesting. Even if the Steelers had gone back to back in 92/93, even if Anthony Mundine had joined Canterbury during Super League like he was supposed to and even if Allan Langer had stuck to singing