Gulls yet to prove me wrong
THIS is going to be a brilliant finals series.
I have been justifiably copping it from Wynnum Manly players and supporters this past week after the Seagulls knocked off Easts to gain a home final.
I now famously predicted the Seagulls were no chance of winning this year’s premiership and while they finished higher than I expected, they have to win the title to prove me wrong.
I don’t think they will.
Even at Broncos training; Seagulls centre Jordan Kahu reminded me of my prediction, made a month ago, yelling out “I can’t wait to see you in the Chook Pen, Garry!”
Mitchell Buckett had a good-natured crack at me on Twitter while Seagulls captain Tim Natusch took his opportunity on stage at the launch of the September Sizzles finals series to sledge me about my prediction.
It was all in good fun and if the Seagulls win; I will claim to be their inspiration and demand some beers.
I have actually had a couple of rival coaches ask me if I can write their team off as well.
While some suggest I wrote my piece after placing a bet on Wynnum to win the title, the truth is I watched their performance against Northern Pride and walked away believing they didn't have what it takes to beat the Pride in the finals.
I still believe that.
However, there is nothing like criticism to fire a side up.
I hope Wynnum make the final at Suncorp Stadium though as they will guarantee a great crowd and atmosphere, especially if they face Easts or Ipswich.
Wynnum Manly host Easts Tigers at BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday and it promises to be a fiery clash.
The Tigers did not have the bounce of the ball last week when they lost to the Seagulls.
They will likely have Donald Malone back which is a huge in for the Tigers.
I think the Tigers will win this 24-10. Easts have more to play for and are gutted at losing a home final.
WE ALL know Ipswich holds a place in my heart from my two years covering the Jets at The Queensland Times and while I am admittedly biased, I believe they will beat Tweed easily on Sunday.
Tweed Heads have also been into me via Twitter, alleging I have ignored their success this year. Perhaps I have; but I actually rate them as a quality team, but believe they are behind the Pride, Tigers and Jets as the sides to beat.
If Tweed make it through this game, they will be a much stronger team as they receive their Gold Coast Titans contingent back for Week Two when their NRL season is over.
The Titans must address how to get more out of their feeder clubs as part of their formal review.
If the Jets put their best 17 on the paddock, they can win the grand final.
However, they are such a young squad that players 18-25 are inexperienced and could be nervous in a finals match.
The Jets will win this 30-10 and set up an enormous clash with Wynnum Manly next week.
***This column will appear in this weekend's Rugby League News. Pick up your copy at home venues this Sunday for team lists, game news and opinion columns.