What a Cracker
The Sydney Roosters faced all sorts of challenges to win this premiership. Manly threw everything they had at them and still couldn’t crack them.
Not that aggressive relentless tackling; not the gritty and determined defence; not even the combos of experienced footy players who have triumphed over so many for nearly a decade. No the Roosters would not concede under any circumstances, although it did look a bit rocky at times.
This was truly a tremendous contest involving two really good teams with real determination to win no matter what it took.
Today the Roosters are worthy premiers and I would think all except the Rabbits fans that can’t get past the rivalry and the Rooster Haters, would acknowledge a great season and strong GF performance to finish it off.
Manly should not have lost any respect by their performances right through an exhausting playoff series. That and the loss of power forwards Richie Fa’aoso and Co-Captain Jason King to injury left them a little short on fire power – but not by much.
I love the way that pressure affects us all. It is a reminder that we are all human with strengths and weaknesses. Even the supreme sportsmen, trained almost to perfection, skilled and practiced over thousands and thousands of repetitions have moments of failure under pressure.
But this match won’t be remembered for errors or even a single failure of any Manly player. Nor will it be likely remembered for the standout performance of any ONE player. This was truly a contest between two TEAMS playing that way and demanding big things of each other and opponents.
I really want to do a thorough second day analysis before too much more comment. There was so much going on in this battle, little battles between match ups, that I want to give that remote a real work out.
This epic GF also threw up some unlikely and surprising performances and incidents.
The Penalty Try! Wow what was going on there! It is very hard to argue against the decision, I think. I haven’t done second day analysis as yet but at the time I felt it would be NO TRY, PENALTY to Manly and Aubusson professional foul SINBIN!
Which of these two possible decisions would you have preferred if you had been a player or coach in this precise situation?
The question also arises of whether this will be the future bench mark in future for the awarding Penalty Tries. We will have plenty next season if that is the case!
And then there were the performances of the two most unlikely players.
Regular readers will know I love to see Daniel Tupou do well. He is the most understated guy who often makes me feel that he is still not sure of himself in this arena. “Am I really good enough to play at this level?”
Surely no more of that TOOPS. Heaven knows what he will deliver with confidence and experience.
His jump-catch-try is a standard event; he does it that easily but is anything easy in a GF? Not only did he get it done at that end but also caught some great air balls on his own try line under real pressure. It was a match winning and saving performance and could have seen him in contention for the Clive Churchill Medal in my opinion.
Likewise Sam Moa. Well in performance but not in any way is Moa lacking in confidence. Humble perhaps but from his very first carry off the kick off when he busted Glen Stewart, the under-rated front rower set the standard. I thought he was the best forward from either team. He too could have contended for player of the match.
Who would you have voted for? Why?
Later on we will post player ratings and analysis.
In coming days “The BUILDING of a PREMIERSHIP/S WINNING TEAM” and “Where to Next for YOUR Club”.