BY STAFF WRITERS
It is that time of the year again and only four teams remain in the hunt for the game’s richest prize.
It also means countless articles throwing up all sorts of different angles.
So here’s another.
How would Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and North Queensland fare against their club’s last premiership-winning side?
Check it out below.
2012 Storm v 2017 Storm
2012: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Dane Nielsen, Will Chambers, Justin O’Neill, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Sika Manu, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Jaiman Lowe, Richie Fa’aoso.
2017: Billy Slater, Suliasi Vunivalu, Will Chambers, Curtis Scott, Josh Addo-Carr, Cameron Munster, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Jordan McLean, Felise Kaufusi, Tohu Harris, Dale Finucane. Interchange: Kenny Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Tim Glasby, Slade Griffin.
Despite the 2012 premiership-winning Storm boasting an impressive backline, the current version outguns them. Coach Craig Bellamy has altered the team’s playing style and is a far superior attacking outfit.
The 2017 team has an edge in the forwards as well with Nelson Asofa-Solomoma and Tim Glasby coming off the bench.
Winner: 2017 Storm
2013 Roosters v 2017 Roosters
2013: Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Aidan Guerra, Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner. Interchange: Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Daniel Mortimer, Mitchell Aubusson, Luke O’Donnell.
2017 Roosters: Michael Gordon, Daniel Tupou, Latrell Mitchell, Mitchell Aubusson, Blake Ferguson, Luke Keary, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Dylan Napa, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Isaac Liu. Interchange: Ryan Matterson, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Zane Tetevano, Connor Watson.
2013 Chooks win it easily. Much has been made of this year’s team’s inability to dominate opposition for the full 80 – this would be their downfall against a very good 2013 team.
SBW, Minichiello, RTS, Maloney and Jennings are all superstars and add plenty of class to that side from ’13.
Winners: 2013 Roosters
2006 Broncos v 2017 Broncos
2006: Justin Hodges, Darius Boyd, Brent Tate, David Stagg, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer, Shane Perry, Shane Webcke, Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Sam Thaiday , Brad Thorn, Tonie Carroll. Interchange: Corey Parker, Dane Carlaw, Ben Hannant, Casey Mcguire.
2017: Darius Boyd, Corey Oates, James Roberts, Tautau Moga, Jordan Kahu, Anthony Milford, Kodi Nikorima, Sam Thaiday, Ben Hunt, Adam Blair, Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Benji Marshall, Tevita Pangai Junior, Joe Ofahengaue, Herman Ese’ese.
The inclusion or exclusion of Andrew McCullough makes no difference in this argument. The 2006 Broncos were a powerful, smart and obviously very successful unit.
World-class forwards, classy backs and Darren Lockyer running the show.
End of story.
Winners: 2006 Broncos
2015 Cowboys v 2017 Cowboys
2015: Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Justin O’Neill, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Michael Morgan, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Jake Granville, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, John Asiata, Scott Bolton, Ben Hannant.
2017: Lachlan Coote, Kyle Feldt, Justin O’Neill, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Te Maire Martin, Michael Morgan, John Asiata, Jake Granville, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Ben Hampton, Coen Hess, Corey Jensen, Shaun Fensom.
We all know the answer to this one but let us ask a question.
Do the 2017 Cowboys have more heart than the side that handed Townsville their maiden premiership?
Class is the difference and a little bloke called Thurston.
Winners: 2015 Cowboys