This Sunday, October 4, the highly anticipated NRL Grand Final 2015 brings this year’s Telstra Premiership to its thrilling conclusion with a 7:15pm (AEST) kick-off scheduled for the all-Queensland decider between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
NRL Grand Final 2015
- When: Sunday October 4, 2015
- Kick-Off: 7:15pm (AEST)
- Where: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
- Who: Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys
- Last Grand Final: Brisbane (2006), Cowboys (2005)
- Premiership Titles: Brisbane (6, 3 in the NRL), Cowboys (0)
- Head-to-Head History: Brisbane 29 wins, Cowboys 11 wins, Draw 2 from 42 Played
- Last Clash: Brisbane 16 – 12 North Queensland – 2015 NRL Finals Week 1
- The Odds: Brisbane $1.90 – Cowboys $2 @ Ladbrokes.com.au
- The Promo: Super odds for halfbacks Thurston & Hunt in the Footy Freaks markets @ Ladbrokes.com.au
Fans from all across the Sunshine State have been paying a crazy price for plane tickets to get down and fill the 90,000 plus capacity arena this year’s Grand Final plays out at after the Wayne Bennett-coached Broncos and Paul Green’s Cowboys earned their spot in the do-or-die blockbuster with Preliminary wins over the Roosters and Storm respectively last weekend.
The Broncos finished second on the ladder after the regular 26-week NRL season this year one spot ahead of North Queensland who, led by the brilliant four-time Dally M Medallist Johnathan Thurston, chase their maiden Grand Final win.
Brisbane meanwhile have won 26 of the past 38 played between these two Queensland clubs and chase their third NRL Premiership title adding to those won in 1998, 2000 and most recently 2006 when beating Melbourne nearly a decade ago.
Their returning coach Bennett has been a saviour for the club in 2015, lifting them out of their post-Darren Lockyer haze to return to greatness.
He picked up Coach of the Year for the stellar effort and chases his eighth Grand Final win.
Boosting Brisbane’s spirits this week was the clearance for retiring champion Justin Hodges to play his 251st and last ever game of NRL in a Grand Final after escaping charge for a Grade 1 dangerous throw from last week’s win.
Justin Hodges is free to play his last game of footy in the NRL Grand Final boosting Brisbane’s chances of a seventh Rugby League Premiership title!
The same squad that defeated the Minor Premiers the Roosters then is available for the Broncos while North Queensland has also named an unchanged team from the one that beat Melbourne in Melbourne last Saturday night.
While there’s the obvious battle of the players on the field, up in the coach’s boxes another intriguing story plays out with Green having worked as a halves coach under Bennett’s guidance for the Broncos from 2005-08, including 2006 when they won their last Premiership.
For Thurston getting the Cowboys to the Premiership victory would be a fairy tale result, cementing why he’s stayed local to the Townsville boys.
For Brisbane a win would cap off an outstanding season that has seen them stay inside the top three on the NRL ladder since Round 5.
The Broncos will have to continue their ace defence that has seen them get to the big one, especially with a powerful Cowboys attack coming at them and top fullback Lachlan Coote full of danger in the No. 1.
The Cowboys cannot afford to let Brisbane get over first, but the stats for the season show that aside from a Week 2 Finals’ win over the Sharks, they have let in the first try in every game since Round 21 – that could let Brisbane sneak in.
Brisbane’s halves-combo is also ultra-impressive with Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford carving it up, and they’ll need to coming up against JT who has set up 33 line-break assists and 33 try assists this season.
There is so much that could happen here to decide the result, but one thing is for sure, it is going to be close and won inside the dying minutes!