Plenty of Sea Eagles have not flown the nest
BY THE NUMBERS
7 - Number of Manly players from the team beaten by the Storm in the 2007 grand final who will play against them tomorrow night. They are brothers Brett and Glenn Stewart, Jamie Lyon, Steve Matai, Jason King, Brent Kite and Anthony Watmough.
3 - Number of players from the Parramatta side beaten by the Storm in the 2009 grand final who are still involved in this finals series. They are Krisnan Inu (Canterbury), Joe Galuvao (Manly) and Todd Lowrie (Melbourne).
1- Number of players from either of the Storm grand final-winning sides of 2007 and '09 who are now retired. That is Matt Geyer.
Chris Ward, resurrected as the video referee for Saturday's game between Canterbury and South Sydney, was the subject of criticism from one of the remaining finals coaches as recently as the last week of August.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy said of Ward's decision to allow a try to Cronulla in the round-25 game against the Storm: ''I'm not quite sure how the video ref allowed Isaac Gordon's try. There is not a clip there that actually shows he got the ball over the line. The side-on view pretty much shows me that he didn't … It's a tough job, but it's really important this time of year they get the basic things right. Whatever system they come up with has to be the best one to get the right decisions. When they go to the video ref on the tries, they have to be getting them right.''
Hits and memories
What songs were No.1 in 1971, the last time Souths won the premiership? Included among them were I Think I Love You, by The Partridge Family, My Sweet Lord (George Harrison), Me And Bobby McGee (Janis Joplin), Too Young To Be Married (The Hollies), Eagle Rock (Daddy Cool), Maggie May (Rod Stewart) and Imagine (John Lennon).
If you know of another nickname for Canterbury coach Des Hasler apart from ''Dessie'', please let us know. Ditto for Manly's Geoff Toovey. Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is, of course, ''Bellyache'', and Souths' Michael Maguire is ''Madge''.
Cooper Cronk v Daly Cherry-Evans
Cronk, the Melbourne halfback, is the reason Cherry-Evans, his opposite number at Manly, couldn't get into the Queensland team this year - and will probably be the reason again next year. But Cherry-Evans is the reigning premiership-winning halfback, something Cronk can only keep alive if the Storm get past the Sea Eagles tomorrow night.
''Night shoots under rain towers. Oh the glamour of it all.'' The great man, on Twitter, suffering for his art on the other side of the world.