first_imgPlaying behind a forward pack that totally dominated their opposition in running for over 500 more metres in hit-ups in Saturday night’s semi-final, Granville played 52 minutes and a key role in getting his forwards over the advantage line with searching runs from dummy-half.Seven days earlier the 26-year-old struggled to keep pace in the biggest game of his young NRL career but said it was a valuable lesson in preparing to take on the Sharks in their sudden-death encounter in Townsville.”I was ready for it last week but just that extra game helps,” Granville told NRL.com.”I was still a bit tired towards the end of the first half but we had a lot of ball which helped us and our forwards did a great job for us.”Probably just learnt that the speed of the finals is more intense.”In his first full year in the NRL Granville’s next assignment is to find a way to quell the influence of the man he – and almost everyone else in rugby league – nominates as the best hooker in the game today.Twenty-four hours before Granville was caught short against Brisbane, Storm captain Cameron Smith was engineering an upset win over the Roosters that secured his team a much-needed week off and a preliminary final on home turf.The challenge for Granville and his Cowboys teammates is to show the same kind of calmness under pressure that has become synonymous with the Storm, Maroons and Kangaroos captain throughout his decorated career.”He’s tough and he stays composed. He doesn’t get too flustered and just controls the game really well,” Granville said of Smith.”In the intensity of the finals you seem to get a bit flustered but I just try to concentrate on doing my role as best I can for the team because everyone’s role’s different.”Every time I see him play he’s one to watch. He’s the best hooker I think so he’ll be dangerous. He’s so creative around there and he’ll definitely be one to watch.”The laconic former Bronco has assimilated seamlessly into the laidback lifestyle of North Queensland but said he had noticed a change in the energy around town ahead of their home final against the Sharks.With the Cowboys now in just their third preliminary final in the club’s history – and first since 2007 – his dream of playing in an NRL Grand Final is now a step closer to reality.”I noticed a bit of a change,” Granville said of the pre-game build-up.”Support up here is massive but before training and stuff they’d line up for tickets and we knew we were going to get a big crowd and they were really helpful [on Saturday night].”To play some regular footy was my main goal but everyone’s dream is to play in a grand final and that’s all our players’ dream and ultimate goal is to get to that GF.”We’ve got to do a job this weekend and they’re going to be extremely tough down there in Melbourne.”last_img read more

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames View comments Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READcenter_img The first serve will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, and Pascua believes that the shellacking they took in Game 1 gave them the experience to turn things around.“This game will be a test of character, whichever team commits less errors will win it,” said Pascua, whose wards had 34 boo-boos compared to the 21 of the Lady Spikers in Game 1.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownLa Salle will be coming into the game on a nine-match winning streak and coach Ramil de Jesus told his team to go for the title in Game 2 “because it’s going to be very difficult if the series reaches Game 3.”La Salle will be shooting to win a third straight championship and its seventh in the last 10 years. LATEST STORIES Despite coming off a straight sets defeat and facing a truly tough foe for the second time in five days, Far Eastern University coach George Pascua remains defiant.“It’s not over yet; we’ll keep fighting,” Pascua said on the eve of Game 2 of their matchup with powerhouse defending champion La Salle for the UAAP women’s volleyball title.ADVERTISEMENT First-choice import finally suits up as NLEX tests Rain or Shine’s early success Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accidentlast_img read more