In what might have been his last rugby league game, Williams set in motion the try to Shaun Kenny-Dowall with a brilliant offload and then a few moments later he burst through the line for a 30m break with Michael Jennings scoring a brilliant try a few plays later. Jennings came seemingly from nowhere, diving between Brett Stewart and David Williams to ground the loose ball inches within the dead ball line.
The Roosters showed extraordinary grit and determination, twice clawing back imposing deficits. It is a great result for a team that many thought would struggle at the start of the year from too many egos.
Coach Trent Robinson said, "We copped a bit of a bagging at the start of the year for some of our recruitment, the star factor, that was going to overtake the team. But every player to a tee, whether they were the highest paid or the part-timers, they bought into the team, that was the most important. We knew we were ready, we knew we'd worked hard all year and we just had to do it." And do it, they did.
Of course it would not be an NRL game without some refereeing controversy. There was a penalty try, a try scored from a blatant forward pass, a missed strip, an ignored obstruction and so on. But at the end of the day it did not take away from the spectacle that was one of the best NRL grand finals in recent years.
Two gladiatorial and skilful teams stood toe-to-toe and ducked it out. And in the end the fresh legs and steely resolve of the boys from Bondi won out.
In a further boost for the Roosters, premiership winning players Boyd Cordner and Michael Jennings were named in the 24-man Australian World Cup squad along with Clive Churchill Medallist, Daly Cherry-Evans. The squad, captained by Cameron Smith, has five players remaining from the team that lost the 2008 World Cup Final along with 3 debutantes, Cordner, Sharks Dally M Prop of the Year Andrew Fifita and Canberra Raiders back-rower Josh Papalii.
The Kangaroos will depart for the United Kingdom on Monday, October 14, and will open their Rugby League World Cup campaign against England at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday, October 26, followed by pool matches against Fiji at Langtree Park, St Helens, on November 2 and Ireland at Thomond Park, Limerick, on November 9.
Adam Schoenmaker is a pastor in in his local church in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
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