Ten lessons learnt from the NRL Grand Final
As regular visitors to ‘The Roar’ would know I am a Dragons supporter, hence I attended the NRL Grand Final with no emotional attachment to either side. As such, my impartial state allowed me to walk away with ten valuable lessons from this year’s decider.
1. The best team did win the game. Melbourne, despite the late second half charge by the Eels and the dubious penalty against Fuifui Moimoi, were the better side and are worthy Premiers.
2. I don’t know whether to feel comforted or disappointed that yet again the tradition of bad pre-game entertainment continued. The hordes of blue singleted individuals surrounding the stage while Wolfmother played made me think that the NRL was catering solely for those Parramatta supporters who were looking to relive their glory days at the General Bourke Hotel during the 1980’s.
3. After his performance on Sunday night, Fuifui Moimoi should no longer be the recognised by the tired song that 2GB plays constantly but rather as one of the leading front rowers in the game at present. If Parramatta did win, he would have walked away with the Clive Churchill medal.
4. As much as I dislike the constant reminiscing about the 1980s that rugby league commentators seem to constantly do, Grand Final days were much better when there were three grades to follow during the day. Does anyone really want to see the NSW Cup Grand Final?
5. To win Grand Finals, you need all your stars to step up and play to their potential. Greg Inglis was fairly quiet in the semi finals, and Parramatta’s big fear would have been that he saved his best for them. He did and it was no surprise that he was involved in the moments that mattered.
6. It used to be the domain of dim-witted Manly supporters who would wear their jumpers irrespective of who was playing. After yesterday, I found that it is a disease that has spread across all clubs. I have a long standing view you should only wear your jumper to the ground if your team was playing in one of the Grand Finals. Over summer, I will be petitioning the NRL to make this a condition of entry!
7. There is a very good reason why the term ‘fairytale endings’ exist – they are few and far between. Just ask Nathan Cayless and Nathan Hindmarsh.
8. Passion and alcohol are in great abundance at the Grand Final, but I found that they don’t mix that well. To the woman who poured at least six bourbons down my jacket as you cheered for the Eels, I was going to ask that you pay my dry cleaning bill. However, knowing the pain you would have felt Monday morning after your team lost and after falling over three rows of seats at ANZ Stadium, I thought you deserved to be cut a bit of slack!
9. It is a pity that the disappointment of losing a Grand Final does cloud Parramatta’s tremendous effort to make it. Their mid season charge from the bottom of the ladder to the decider was THE story of the NRL year.
10. I have never felt so much jealousy as I did towards the Eels and Storm supporters as I spent the whole day wishing that it was my team in the Grand Final.
March 2010 can’t come soon enough.
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