Buzz: Gould’s ‘nonsense’ disrespects brilliant Storm
Melbourne Storm won another grand final to prove they are the greatest sporting franchise in the country in any of the footy codes. Yet they are also the most maligned.
You only had to listen to Phil Gould and all his nonsense on Channel 9.
Or the journo who gave his 25 reasons last week why the punters all hate the Storm.
As Craig Bellamy's team produced one of the most dominant first-half performances in grand final history, fans had to suffer through Gould's one-eyed analysis of the Panthers' supposed bad luck.
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To have the audacity to say: "I honestly feel like the Panthers are on top" when they trailed 16-nil was an insult to the Storm, their fans and the viewers.
Even Josh Dugan chimed in on Twitter: "Is Gus watching it or is his heart talking?"
He should have been lauding this magnificent performance from the Storm.
Is Gus watching it or is his heart talking? Melbourne are well and truly on top. Their defence is on song #NRLGF— Josh Dugan (@Josh_Dugan) October 25, 2020
The power of big Nelson Asofa-Solomona, the athleticism and scoring speed of Suliasi Vunivalu for his exceptional intercept try. Or Cameron Smith. Or anything.
This side has never been given the credit it deserves for such sustained excellence.
Year after year the Storm turn up. This was their fourth grand final in five years.
They've been to eight qualifying finals in the past 10 years.
We talk about Jack Gibson and Wayne Bennett as the game's super coaches. It's time Bellamy is elevated to that same level. The man is a footballing genius.
You look at his footy side in recent years. He lost Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk but kept on winning.
Extraordinary 1st half in Grand Final. Penalty try. Disallowed try. Intercept. Young Panther couldn’t take a trick. On the other hand, Storm defended grimly, took battering, but found way to keep Panther at bay. 22-0 is harsh score line for Panther. But Storm always find a way.— PhilGould15 (@PhilGould15) October 25, 2020
It's extraordinary to think back to the end of last season and the Storm had no centres following the departures of Will Chambers and Curtis Scott.
They looked in desperate strife.
Enter Brenko Lee and Justin Olam. Olam has been outstanding all year. Lee had unsuccessful stints at the Canberra Raiders, Canterbury Bulldogs and then Gold Coast Titans.
He trialled with the Melbourne Rebels but quit after two weeks.
The Storm threw him a lifeline and turned him into a premiership-winning centre.
Congratulations to Storm. 2020 Premiers. However, GF could easily have gone to Panther. Half-time score did not reflect 1st half action. Panther 20-4 second half, showed possibilities. Panther ran out of time. Cameron Smith said “If it goes another 2 mins, I just don’t know”.— PhilGould15 (@PhilGould15) October 25, 2020
His defence was outstanding in the grand final, twice stopping Penrith raids in the first half to save tries. He also made a crunching tackle on big Billy Kikau to jolt the football free.
And so ends the longest season in rugby league history.
From the March 12 kick-off, the Eels versus the Bulldogs on a Thursday night at Bankwest Stadium, to the decider.
The Storm will have to do it all again next year.
No Cameron Smith, no Josh Addo-Carr and no Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.
You can bet they will find the right replacements.
And you can only hope we will acknowledge them as the great champions that they are.
GOULD'S QUESTIONABLE MOMENTS
4th minute: Justin Olam penalty try
"I don't know whether they can award a penalty try," Gus says, just before the video referee correctly rules a try.
"It's not the way that they would adjudicate indiscriminate kicking, he's actually laying under him".
"Hold your breath. Hold your breath. Hold your breath.
... "A startling beginning to the 2020 grand final."
8th minute: Josh Mansour no try
"Now, they'll check for obstruction here. There was a collision between defender and lead runner, or decoy runner. I don't think it had much effect on the play," Gus says, after Stephen Crichton impedes Brenko Lee in the defensive line.
"I think that's a decision to make a tackle by Brenko Lee. It hasn't affected the winger, Vunivalu."
Does Gus go for Penrith? Can’t tell.— Mitch Brown (@mitchrebrown) October 25, 2020
32nd minute: Suliasi Vunivalu try
"I honestly feel like the Panthers are on top," Gus with the Panthers trailing 14-0, about to become 16-0, after a wonderful individual effort from Vunivalu.
40th minute: Cameron Smith try
"Hold your breath again, Panther fans. Hold your breath. Hold your breath."
Instead of celebrating a four-pointer in Smith's final game, Gus gives us more Panthers dread as the video referee confirms Api Koroisau knocked the ball out of Smith's hand, meaning it's a try to the Storm skipper.
45th minute: Ryan Papenhuyzen try
"You just get the feeling they're losing touch here," Gus on the Panthers' chances.
Originally published as Buzz: Gould's 'nonsense' disrespects brilliant Storm