Finucane hopes for fourth time lucky
Come Sunday, Dale Finucane will officially have more Grand Final appearances in the past six years than any other NRL player – and he'll be hoping to finally chalk up a win to go with his three runner-up medals.
Finucane swept into a decider in his maiden NRL season back in 2012; the Bega product didn't even debut for Canterbury until Round 13 that year but formed part of an important bench rotation as the Bulldogs lost to his current club Melbourne in the decider.
He got there again in 2014 as the Bulldogs again fell just short of premiership glory, this time against South Sydney.
Finucane headed south the next season and has developed his game to new heights under Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy; he is now one of the most impressive No.13s in the competition and was part of the side that fell agonisingly short in the grand final against Cronulla last year.
Speaking alongside Bellamy and skipper Cameron Smith at the Grand Final press conference at Luna Park on Thursday, Finucane laughed off his current winless record in season deciders and stressed he was no more or less deserving of a premiership ring than the other 33 players on the field on Sunday.
"I've been lucky enough to be involved in three before this one; I was lucky enough to be involved in my first year in first grade," Finucane reflected.
"I think I debuted mid-year in 2012 and then we went on a run with the Dogs and played Melbourne Storm in that Grand Final.
"I have been lucky but I think the fact that I've played in three doesn't make me any more deserving just because I've lost those other three. It all comes down to the performance that our team puts in on the weekend."
Finucane's opposite number, Cowboys wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo, is arguably the best forward in the world right now and certainly the most dangerous No.13 going around at the moment.
Finucane said if they are to stop the Kiwi sensation – who averages almost 200 metres per game right across 2017 and closer to 250 metres in North Queensland's three finals matches this year – it will have to be a team effort.
"It will be a big effort obviously from our forward pack [to stop him]," he said.
"They've got a lot of strike across the field. He's probably their main go-forward guy that has been really impressive, especially in this finals series and throughout the whole year so we'll be doing our best on Sunday."