Dragons, Eels ?top two
By STEVE SPINKS
BRISBANE Broncos hooker Barry Berrigan believes St George-Illawarra and Parramatta will be the two teams fighting it out in the National Rugby League grand final next weekend.
Berrigan made his prediction at a coaching clinic at St Mary's Oval yesterday while in Lismore as part of a Broncos development team that included former players Michael Hancock and Andrew Gee and up-and-comer Steve Michaels.
"They (the Dragons and the Eels) have been the best sides for the past three months," he said.
"They deserve to be there."
While clearly disappointed that Brisbane won't go on to contest the decider after they were knocked out by the Wests Tigers last Sunday, Berrigan admitted he was looking forward to recharging the batteries over the next few months.
He's starting his holiday by attending the Lismore Cup today.
Pre-season with the Broncos doesn't begin until December.
As for Brisbane's horror late season run, which saw them lose seven straight matches, including two semi-finals, Berrigan said something needed to change at the club.
"It's happened five years in a row," he said.
He was unsure as to the reason behind the traditional late-season Broncos slump.
At 30 years old Berrigan has no immediate thoughts of retirement.
"I'm feeling good and fit," he said.
"Why wouldn't I keep going?"
Berrigan burst into first grade as a youngster with the Canterbury Bulldogs as a halfback in the mid-90s.
However, he never really cemented himself in the starting side and ended up moving back to Brisbane where he was plucked out of the local competition to fill in for the Broncos because of injuries.
He proved to Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett that he was still up to NRL standard and he has been a regular starter ever since.
It reunited him with younger brother Shaun, who has been a regular with the Broncos for a few seasons.
"I never really liked it down there (Sydney)," Berrigan said.