Footy’s BIGGEST day out

07/10/2013

Source: news.com.au
Source: news.com.au

Short and Sweets October 7

Not being at the ground for the GF, I recognise I may have mis-read the following but this is how it came across to me:

  • the match itself was so exciting, one of the best GFs for footy entertainment and high standard throughout
  • the refereeing officials made some very tough, gutsy calls. They got some wrong but I don’t think anyone could feel that any bad calls amounted to enough to leave us feeling like the “wrong team won”. (perhaps I might be too neutral in this situation but I am just trying to feel the vibe around the match).
  • the pre-match and half time entertainment was really good.
  • the noise from the crowd throughout the NRL section of events really got into creating  a memorable event.
  • the post-match stuff was tremendous with the exception of Kenny Sutcliffe seemingly awkward intro’s and exits for players in medal presentation.
  • the Roosters were “universally” recognised as the better team on the night and the best team of the season.
  • Manly are now finally recognised “almost universally” as a terrific team of hardworking and skilful players who represent most of the things we all admire in footy teams.
  • the Manly team were not shattered by their loss but seriously disappointed and simultaneously proud of their playoff and seasonal achievements. This led to a feel that no-one tried to be-little or downgrade the second best team of the season but afforded them the appropriate respect.
  • the Roosters celebrations were much like their playing performances for the season – wholehearted, a little brash but respectful of defeated opponents and the occasion and always under control.

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The one disappointing feel I had for the event was of the crowd’s making and sadly the finger must be pointed at the Roosters fans.

Booing the referees is always childish but booing the best player of the match as he receives his award on centre stage is downright disrespectful and very bad form. This is becoming habitual at Origin matches also.

Not only is it demeaning to the player but also to those who made the selection and of the game’s history and standing in the broader community.  A worldwide audience has taken that away with them as the way we treat our most outstanding performer on the biggest day of the season.

All credit to Daly Cherry-Evans for dealing with a proud moment in such a composed and dignified fashion. As usual the booing said more about the people making that distasteful decision than one of our game’s many talented and professional young players.

DCE was a worthy winner having played outstandingly in an outstanding match.

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Congrats also to probably the two best teams, as I saw it anyway, in the lower grade GFs.

My vested interest is declared in the Panthers NYC premiership win with Rohan Smith involved as assistant coach. Also  I was very pleased to see former Newcastle Knight junior rep coach Garth Brennan lead this multi talented group to GF victory.

He is one of the band of really good coaches working hard to achieve for their players, teams and clubs and making a name for themselves in the grass roots areas of footy.

The Holden Cup match itself was a thriller. I felt that there may have been half a dozen players involved in the match that we will see in NRL jerseys from next season and beyond.

The Cronulla-Melbourne crew in NSW Cup (reserve grade) also deserve congrats on an outstanding performance, season long! The GF victory was emphatic as were many of the victories throughout the season for this composite squad from Storm and Sharks clubs.

Again there were number of players we will all see much more of in NRL matches in the future.

This (reserve ) grade is often criticised but conversely, apparently likely to be resurrected in status and inclusion on match days of regular season very soon. Back to “the good old days of all three grades on the same day same ground”, maybe?

Without in any way wanting to downgrade the performances of the winners, the idea of permitting TWO NRL clubs to run a joint venture team against all others without that benefit, makes for mockery of what is a very important part of our sport’s vital elite player development phase.

This should never be allowed to happen again.