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Petero calls for Dogs to mess up Storm's style

Date

Michael Chammas

BY THE NUMBERS

2089 - Ben Barba and Jonathan Wright have played every minute in each of Canterbury's 26 games this season. Another 80-minute performance in the grand final will have them overtake Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans for most minutes played this year.

 

0 - Melbourne have never lost to Canterbury at ANZ Stadium. The Storm have notched up three wins against the Bulldogs at the venue.

 

20 - Halves of football this season the Bulldogs have completed more than 80 per cent of their sets.

 

OFF FACT

Only two premiership-winning coaches in the past 26 years have more than five letters in their first name. Those two coaches came from Newcastle (Malcolm Reilly in 1997 and Michael Hagan in 2001). Either Des Hasler or Craig Bellamy will keep the streak going on Sunday.

 

MISSION POSSIBLE

Two-time grand final winner Petero Civoniceva says Canterbury's best chance of causing an upset in Sunday's decider will be to rattle Melbourne's big stars. The composure of Storm trio Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith has many expecting the trophy to go to Melbourne. But the recently retired Civoniceva says the Bulldogs will have a chance if they can break up Melbourne's rhythm. ''The Bulldogs have got to play an unsettling style to really throw everything at Melbourne,'' he said. ''And they're a team that is capable of doing that. Josh Reynolds, for sure, he can play an unsettling style. He's just a tough little competitor. He was playing hurt with a busted shoulder for a while … but he just continued to keep finding something to drive them forward.'' Perhaps the Dogs' best chance to disrupt Melbourne's play is through their ball-playing forwards. Sam Kasiano, James Graham, Frank Pritchard and Greg Eastwood create second-phase play for their outside backs with tip-on passes and clever offloads.

 

GLASS HALF FULL/ GLASS HALF EMPTY

Glass Half Full - The Bulldogs have conceded just 18 points in their two finals games this year.

Glass Half Empty - All 18 points the Bulldogs have conceded in the finals have come in the first half.

 

with AAP

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