Tate tips all-Queensland NRL grand final

A second all-Queensland NRL grand final in three years?

It is enough to make long suffering NSW fans moan that much louder.

But former Test flyer Brent Tate believes it will happen this year – with North Queensland to again emerge triumphant in the season decider.

NRL ambassador Tate admits he may be one-eyed after stints at both Brisbane and North Queensland during his glittering 14-season career.

However, Tate genuinely believes Brisbane will shock minor premiers Melbourne and tipped giant-killers North Queensland to add the Sydney Roosters to their list in their respective preliminary finals.

“I think we will see a 2015 repeat with a Broncos-Cowboys grand final,” he told Fox Sports.

“And I would have to go with the Cowboys.

“Queensland teams have dominated this year so I just get that feeling it will happen again.”

Brisbane have been written off against runaway title favourites Melbourne on Friday, having won just four of their last 23 games against the Storm.

But Tate said the Broncos had the blueprint for success against Melbourne.

“We’ve said all year the premiership this year is Melbourne’s to lose but Brisbane has the X-factor to beat them,” he said.

“To beat Melbourne you have to throw the ball around, you have to attack their edges and Brisbane have so much X-factor and skill in that side.”

Another knee injury ended then-Cowboy Tate’s career in 2014.

The next year he watched from the sidelines as North Queensland went all the way.

Tate said there was a different feeling to 2015 in Townsville but believed it would still deliver the same result even without injured co-captain Johnathan Thurston.

“I watched them in 2015 go around and win the premiership but there is a different feel this year,” he said.

“They don’t have those mainstays but guys like Jason Taumalolo, Michael Morgan have really stepped up and they are thriving on that leadership.

“They have quiet confidence. They have flown under the radar and they have continued to grow.”

North Queensland and Brisbane line up against opponents fresh from a week – another advantage to the Queensland teams, Tate says.

“I think that is in their favour,” he said.

“They have had a couple of tough games, they are battle-hardened.”

Injury-hit North Queensland had to rely on other results to scrape into the top eight but have not looked back since, launching an unlikely title tilt.

Even Brisbane are inspired.

“You to have the mindset that there is no next week – just look at the Cowboys,” veteran Broncos playmaker Benji Marshall said.

“But they have not surprised me.

“Their structure and the way everyone seems to know their role, that’s what has impressed me.

“They are every chance of winning again this week.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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