Hugh McGahan: Storm will prove too strong

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I just can't see anything other than a Melbourne Storm victory this evening.

For a start, they have grand final experience, having made the last three, and I think the occasion might be too big for Parramatta.

They have played a carefree, expansive game for the past three months but that was because they had to. They had nothing to lose. They were placed 14th of 16 teams in round 18 and staring at the possibility of collecting the wooden spoon.

But the pressure of a grand final might get to them. They have everything to gain but more to lose.

Melbourne are also stacked across the park with playmakers and big-game players at that, from Billy Slater to Greg Inglis and Cameron Smith to Cooper Cronk. They also have a harder forward pack.

Coach Craig Bellamy has implemented a defensive structure that will cope with Parramatta's unpredictability.

They will allow the Eels to offload the ball but they will be organised enough that it won't hurt them too much.

They also possess a much better kicking game, through a number of different players.

The only unknown is Parramatta's unpredictability but Melbourne should be able to cope with it.

* Hugh McGahan is a former Kiwis captain

- Herald on Sunday

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