Sydney Roosters had a six-point win over the Canberra Raiders at Sunday’s controversial NRL Grand Final.
Not only has this allowed them to become the first back-to-back premiers since the Brisbane Broncos in 1992 and 1993, but it’s allowed them to secure their own back-to-back premiership since 1974 and 1975.
The Roosters had a chance to get a four-point lead at half-time when a penalty was made against Raiders centre Jarrod Croker for running Brett Morris off the ball.
However, Mitchell did not succeed in this and instead the Roosters went into half-time with only a two-point lead.
While definitely thrilling, the Grand Final was also controversial.
In the second half, cameras showed lead referee Ben Cummins signalling ‘six again’ with ten minutes of the game left.
The Raiders’ Jack Wighton took the tackle, however possession was turned over in their half and the Roosters pounced on the confusion.
Cummins and assistant referee Gerard Sutton have been nicknamed on social media ‘six again’ because of this call.
This was both Cummins’ and Sutton’s fifth Grand Final. They refereed together in the 2015 Grand Final between the North Queensland Cowboys and Brisbane Broncos.
Sydney Roosters young gun Latrell Mitchell started the game off quiet, but when it really mattered Mitchell made his presence on the field known in the second half.
Mitchell’s flick pass to Daniel Tupou ‘Toops’ is what led the Roosters to their victory.
“Latrell still had to catch and pass that, and flick it to ‘Toops.’ He practises it all the time – and he nailed it,” Coach Trent Robinson said.
The Roosters’ front row forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was left awkwardly standing next to the NRL Grand Final presentation podium after wrongly being told he’d been awarded the Clive Churchill Medal.
Jack Wighton was handed the medal after his starring role in a losing Raiders team.
The fans that filled the ANZ Stadium stands were not impressed, booing 26-year-old Wighton as he had his medal draped around his shoulders.
Wighton has become the fourth player to receive the medal on a losing team, after Brad Clyde in 1991, Brad McKay in 1993 and Daly Cherry-Evans in 2013.
“It was a very numb feeling to achieve something so big, but it was probably the worst moment of my life to lose a Grand Final,” Mr Wighton said.
The win was great for the Roosters, but gut wrenching for the Canberra Raiders as their 2019 Grand Final appearance was the club’s first in 25 years.
By Sharnae Watson