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2017 NRL Grand Final in Sydney (photo by Brigitte Duffield).

Dr Lee Duffield concludes his report on the North Queensland Cowboys' finals charge and reports on grand final results in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

NQ Cowboys [Postscript #2]

The North Queensland Cowboys late charge through the finals came up against the Melbourne team, dominant throughout the 2017 National Rugby League (NRL) season, at Sunday night’s (1 October) Grand Final in Sydney.

Commentators saw their predictions vindicated that the challengers might hold off the minor premiers, Melbourne Storm, through half-the-first-half before beginning to concede tries.

Star player Billy Slater – winner of the Clive Churchill Medal for the event – announced he might play again for Storm next year.

He declared himself impressed with the Cowboys’ showing, after the loss of key players through injury mid-season, as good preparation for 2018.

It was a return compliment to co-captain Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys, who had identified the first ingredient to Slater’s powerful playing style as “between his ears” — prompting suggestions it “takes one to know one”.

Score: Melbourne Storm 32 — NQ Cowboys 6

PNG Hunters

In the curtain raiser, the PNG Hunters, victors of the Queensland Cup, went down to their New South Wales Cup counterparts, Penrith Panthers, 42-18. The loss came in the first half; they “won” their second half, one more step in the campaign to get Papua New Guinea into the Australian NRL competition.

Score: Penrith Panthers 42 — PNG Hunters 18 

Aussie Rules

On Saturday (30 September) in the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final, at Melbourne, the Richmond Tigers broke a 37-year premiership drought to defeat the Adelaide Crows.

Score: Richmond Tigers 16.12.108 — Adelaide Crows 8.12.60

Read Dr Duffiled's in-depth article on North Queensland, PNG and football: 'Cowboys win: Keeping North Queensland on the map' here.

Dr Lee Duffield is a former ABC foreign correspondent, political journalist and academic. He spent the first 20 years of his life in North Queensland and returns there often.

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