Finals fever thicker than blood

A TALL statue of Billy Slater stands proud in Nicole Applewaite's bedroom.

To Nicole it's just part of the furniture.

To everyone else it's a sign of how crazy in love she is with the Melbourne Storm.

Tomorrow she will be one of the most anxious fans watching her team take on the Parramatta Eels in the NRL grand final.

One person she won't be watching with is her aunty, Kim Thompson.

Kim is, well, the complete opposite to Nicole.

Kim fell in love with Peter Sterling in the 70s and has been a club member for 39 years.

As this week the two teams prepared to clash at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Kim and Nicole planned their balloons and team colours.

The crew at Sports Central on East Street have been run off their feet as people flock to the shop to buy their last-minute supporter gear. Yesterday they nearly sold out of Parramatta and Storm flags, balloons and jerseys.

The replica NRL premiership trophy is still sitting in the window. As for the full-time score, Nicole is calling it at 38-6.

“To Storm, of course,” she added.

Kim said her head thought Melbourne but her heart was always going to be behind Parramatta.

She fell in love with Peter Sterling in the 70s


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