Another league season is done, and Wests Tigers not only didn’t win, but they didn’t even make the finals… again. At least there’s always 2005 for me, which is more than I can say for Parramatta fans…
So the Melbourne Storm win the comp again, and while I’m tempted to make jokes about how many people in Victoria will actually notice this, they are an impressive team, one that would do well anywhere. They’re really the height of a modern professional sports franchise, and they’d be just as good if they were say, a second Brisbane team or something like that. So congratulations to them.
And despite some misgivings, I really did want Parramatta to win in the grand final. I’m not a Parra fan, but a lot of friends and neighbours are, and I live in the right neighbourhood, so that would have been good to see. But it was not to be, which I kind of suspected would happen. Melbourne were just too good, with too much experience and too much power. Parramatta made a good run of it, and there were even some moments in the 2nd half where it looked like they could have pulled it off, but every time that happened the Storm would pull away again.
Kudos to Billy Slater as the Churchill Medal winner, as well as Cameron Smith, Greg Inglis and all the rest for their performance. Many of them will be in the Australian team, with good reason. Congratulations to my bizarro namesake Steve Turner as well, who didn’t score in the game, but played well all the same. He’s off to Canterbury next year to replace Hazen El Mazri, so I suppose he will continue doing well. And maybe now with Melbourne Storm and Steve Turner in this post, I will start getting Google hits from league fans who think he’s got a blog now
So where to for 2010 andd the NRL? I imagine there will be less controversy next year… I doubt enough players can be that stupid again, and while I expect Greg Inglis will either be found not guilty or have charges dropped, I think there’s a serious chance Brett Stewart will do jail time for his charges. I expect we’ll see Jarryd Hayne and Billy Slater headline the ad campaign heading into the next season, and at this stage at leasat, I doubt they’ll be in any strife… (let’s not speak too soon though!)
And what about Wests Tigers? Well, after a slow start this year, they actually ended up being pretty good. Still missed the eight, by the smallest of margins (they were just a point behind Parramatta in ninth), but they really seemed to get a combination going with Marshall and Moltzen in the halves. Would be fun to see Lote Tiquiri at fullback but that’s still unlikely I guess, but let’s get Tuiaki healthy again on the wing. Robbie Farah is an able leader of the team, the forwards are getting better, and they should be a real top eight contender if they can actually maintain the line-up, avoid major injuries and get some early form (instead of leaving everything to a late season run, again).
So that’s the typical sports fan for you — the eternal optimist. Hope springs eternal that my team will make the finals next year… I mean they have to again eventually, right? And after watching this year, I’m still thankful that they played an equally inexperienced team in 2005 (North Queensland), and that Melbourne took another year to find form.
That’s it, bring on the 2010 season!