FORMER test hooker and Baralaba Panther Jason Hetherington has backed Melbourne Storm to clinch its second NRL title in three years.
“There are a certain few individuals who are in rare form and they are playing well as a team,” the former Canterbury Bulldog premiership rake said.
He was referring to the scintillating form of Storm duo Billy Slater and Greg Inglis.
Hetherington said the Eels may struggle with the emotions of grand-final week after the big semi-final win over his old club last weekend.
“Only three (Eels) players have experienced grand-final week.
“It's the best week of your life as a footballer.
“Emotionally Parramatta may be like Brisbane who were outclassed after the Dragons game,” Hetherington said.
The tough-as-nails hooker, who made his debut for the now defunct Gold Coast Chargers in 1992 and then played three grand finals with the Dogs, said the Storm were a well-structured and well-drilled team.
“Everyone does their job and I like Melbourne's bench - the bench plays a big part in today's game,” the 1995 premiership winner said.
“They (Storm) won't let the same thing happen as last year.
“Four (grand finals) in a row is an incredible feat,” Hetherington said.
Brisbane Broncos upset Melbourne in 2006, before Storm beat Manly for the title in 2007 and Manly smashed them last year.
Hetherington, who played in losing grand finals with the Bulldogs in 1994 and 1998, said Parramatta would need to keep defending well like it has in the finals series so far to spring an upset.
“The Storm has a more potent attack than the Dogs.
“If their (Eels) defence is in order it then comes down to commitment and enthusiasm,” Hetherington said.
Both sides will hopefully have that in spades come Sunday.
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