The 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final is finally upon us and will light-up ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Sunday evening featuring an all-Queensland decider between the Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys.
NRL Grand Final
Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys
- Date: Sunday October 4, 2015
- Time: 7:15pm (AEST)
- Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
- Last GF Appearance: Brisbane (2006), Cowboys (2005)
- Premiership Wins: Brisbane (6), Cowboys (0)
- History: 38 Played – Brisbane (26), Cowboys (11), Draw (1)
- Last Time They Played: 2015 NRL Finals Week 1 – Brisbane (16) defeated North Queensland (12)
After a super season it has come down to the teams that finished 2nd and 3rd respectively on the ladder with the Brisbane Broncos thriving with the return of Coach of the Year Wayne Bennett and the Cowboys back to their brilliant best under the leadership of four time Daly M Medallist Johnathan Thurston.
This blockbuster features more superstars than a red carpet movie premier in Hollywood with plenty of the game’s big wigs fighting it out including the aforementioned JT and for the Broncos the retiring Justin Hodges.
Hodges was cleared earlier in the week from suspension for a Grade 1 dangerous throw charge that occurred during Brisbane’s excellent preliminary final win when beating Minor Premiers the Roosters 31 – 12 last Friday night.
With Hodges in the centres playing his final ever game of footy and Jack Reed beside him with his leg injury from last week on the mend the team list reads exactly as it did from last week with Bennett, coaching his eighth grand final team this weekend, naming an unchanged side.
It is the same for the Cowboys who will be looking to repeat the hard-hitting effort from last Saturday night down in Melbourne when they knocked out the Storm from the NRL Premiership race with a big 32 – 12 win.
Nine years have gone by since Brisbane’s last Grand Final appearance back in 2006 while the Cowboys have appeared in the end of season do-or-die just once a decade ago when losing to the Tigers in ’05.
In total Brisbane have made six Grand Final appearances and the record is very good, they are yet to lose on the GF stage.
Their head-to-head record against their younger brothers from Townsville is also excellent with the Broncos boasting 26 wins from 38 games played between these two sides including just three weeks ago when NQ lost their first finals game against Brisbane 16 – 12.
While the statistics might work in favour of the more experience Bennett-lead squad, the Cowboys aren’t an easy team to beat when they are in form.
Thurston’s year has been simply outstanding and he’s ready to cap it off with a win in the game that counts.
He’ll need to dig deep, especially playing through that groin injury, though with Brisbane at full strength and ready to produce their exciting brand of attack led by their young halves combo of Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford, and tough-to-break line of defence that has seem them surge into this clash.
Adding to the impressive Broncos’ depth is the reformed Adam Blair who has been ridiculously on-point over the past couple of months, warhorse Sam Thaiday and the always honest Matt Gillett.
Paul Green’s Cowboys might be chasing a maiden Premiership win, but if any team from NQ can do it, it is this impressive line-up that boasts an excellent forward pack led by tough-as-nails Matt Scott, James Tamou and Jason Taumalolo.
They also have one of this season’s best fullbacks donning the No. 1 in Lachlan Coote who is joined in the backs by the likes of Antonio Winterstein and Justin O’Neill.
Prediction is this one is going to come down to the wire, but our markets slightly favour Brisbane whose record and that of their coach’s speaks for itself and that could make all the difference.
We’re also offering super odds in our NRL Grand Final Footy Freaks Promo on Thurston & Hunt for you to check out today along with our host of other exotic markets on the game!
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NRL Grand Final Team Lists
1 Darius Boyd
2 Corey Oates
3 Jack Reed
4 Justin Hodges (c)
5 Jordan Kahu
6 Anthony Milford
7 Ben Hunt
8 Sam Thaiday
9 Andrew McCullough
10 Adam Blair
11 Alex Glenn
12 Matt Gillett
13 Corey Parker
14 Jarrod Wallace
15 Mitchell Dodds
16 Joe Ofahengaue
17 Kodi Nikorima
18 Dale Copley
Coach: Wayne Bennett
North Queensland Cowboys
1 Lachlan Coote
2 Kyle Feldt
3 Justin O’Neill
4 Kane Linnett
5 Antonio Winterstein
6 Michael Morgan
7 Johnathan Thurston (c)
8 Matthew Scott (c)
9 Jake Granville
10 James Tamou
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Ethan Lowe
13 Jason Taumalolo
14 Rory Kostjasyn
15 John Asiata
16 Scott Bolton
17 Ben Hannant
19 Ray Thompson
Coach: Paul Green