The ten best grand final moments in the past 30 years

BigJ Roar Guru

By BigJ, BigJ is a Roar Guru

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    Grand finals always produced memorable moments, but some are so special they stay with us forever.

    This is a list of the ten best grand final highlights from the last 30 years.

    10. Ricky Stuart’s 40-metre pass to Chicka Ferguson
    Canberra Raiders versus Penrith Panthers, 1990
    To start the list we have one of the longest and best passes in grand final history. Stuart was 15 out from the line and made his away across the field just in front of the east goal pass.

    Taking two steps Stuart lofted the ball 40 metres, hitting the ground after clearing all men but Chicka Ferguson. Ferguson picked it up and with some individual brilliance beat a couple of men to score a try – but it was the pass that was remembered most.

    9. Sam Burgess and Russell Crowe’s hug and talk
    South Sydney Rabbitohs versus Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2014
    After playung the entire game with a busted face, Burgess cried after finally winning the game in perhaps the performance of his life. But once he and Russell Crowe got together, an almost father-and-son emotion occurred. The pair embraced in an emotional spectacle that was truly wonderful it was to watch.

    8. Sharks finally turn off the porch light
    Melbourne Storm versus Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, 2016
    It took 50 long years but finally the porch light was turned off. Cronulla had finally done what many had thought to be impossible and won the grand final. When captain Paul Gallen finally held up the trophy, the shire became dark as lights everywhere were switched off.

    (Image: AAP Image/David Moir)

    7. Craig Smith’s Penalty try
    Melbourne Storm versus St George Illawarra Dragons, 1999
    In the 77th minute the Storm forced the Dragons into a goal-line drop-out. Melbourne halfback Brett Kimmorley bombed to Craig Smith’s wing. Dragons centre Jamie Ainscough, anticipating a Melbourne try, caught Smith in a head-high tackle over the try-line, resulting in Smith being knocked unconscious and, in the process of falling to the ground, Smith knocking on. Referee Bill Harrigan requested video referee Chris Ward adjudicate on the decision.

    In one of the most controversial grand final incidents, Melbourne Storm were granted a penalty try, drawing them level with the Dragons. Being a penalty try, the subsequent conversion was taken from directly in front of the posts. Matt Geyer succesfully converted and the Storm, for the first time in the match, pulled ahead of the Dragons and took out their first grand final 20-18 in certainly the most controversial moment in grand final history.

    6. Nathan Blacklock’s try and celebration
    Melbourne Storm versus St George Illawarra Dragons, 1999
    I love the 1999 grand final – I could write a top-ten moments list in this grand final alone – but the two I’ve picked out stand out the most. Brett Kimmorley kicks the back in a chip-and-chase attempt, but Blacklock swoops on the ball, beating two men, and then make a 60-metre untouched sprint to the try line. After this he gave a hip-swaying post-try celebration for the ages.

    5. Benji Marshall’s flick pass
    Wests Tigers versus North Queensland Cowboys, 2005
    Just Brilliant – Marshall gets into some space and makes a run for it, and with opposition chasing him down he opts for a move that would put a smile on Michael Jordan’s face. Without looking Marshall flicks the ball behind him to the waiting Pat Richards, who catches the ball and runs away to score the try. Many of you were upset that it did not make my all-time grand final tries list, but it wasn’t missing this time.

    4.Warriors crowd haka
    Manly Warringah Sea Eagles versus New Zealand Warriors, 2011
    No matter how many times I watch this I still love it. The Warriors crowd lead by Brendon Martin gives one of the best hakas I have ever seen, with posible exception to the flash mob haka on the Gold Coast a couple of weeks prior to the game.

    Screaming Warriors fans, 30,000 strong, break into the famous war cry, their tongues out and their eyes ready to pop. It was truly tremendous watching the traditional war cry done by so many people all at once. At the end of the day sport is all about the fans, and this proves it.

    3. Scott Sattler’s try-saving tackle
    Penrith Panthers versus Sydney Roosters, 2003
    This is how you make a tackle. With the exception of George Greagen’s famous try-saving effort against the All Blacks in the 1990s, this is the best tackle I have ever seen. Roosters winger Todd Byrne gets some space and after a heel tap is away down the wing. Sattler gives chase and delivers a textbook hip-to-heel tackle to bring Byrne over the touch line a save the try. At six-all it changed the course of the game and won it for the Panthers.

    2. Darren Albert steals it from Manly
    Manly Sea Eagles versus Newcastle Knights, 1997
    A lot can happen in seven seconds. Darren Albert is tackled and Andrew Johns, who is the dummy half, cuts back to the blindside and throws a pass to the awaiting Albert, who runs through a couple of defenders and places the ball under the posts to give the Knights their first premiership. Truly one of the best stick-it-up-the-opposition moments of all time.

    But as good as all those moments were, number one is better and is the best way to win a grand final.

    1. Thurston’s field goal
    Brisbane Broncos versus North Queensland Cowboys, 2015
    This was the perfect end to the best grand final this century. With the scores locked after the Kyle Feldt try and Thurston missing the conversion, game went into overtime for only the second time ever.

    Hunt’s drop ball meant the Cowboys had the perfect position to kick the goal. Thurston positioned himself and kicked the goal to end the game and ignite the greatest rivalry in the game today. Truly this is the best grand final moment.

    Do you agree with my list? What is your favourite grand final moment of the last 30 years?

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    The Crowd Says (72)

    • June 18th 2017 @ 3:30am
      Jeff dustby said | June 18th 2017 @ 3:30am | ! Report

      30,000 warriors fans? Please .

      Thank god they got rid of McIntyre after that farce
      They came 6th and lost the first final by 30. They should have never played another game that year

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2017 @ 6:02am
        BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

        Your one of those sad, lonely, pathetic losers in his 30s that still lives at home with his mother aren’t you.???? You must be, its the only reason who would be up at 3:30 in the morning making negative comments on the internet. But no matter atleast your still reading my articles.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 19th 2017 @ 8:29am
          Squidward said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

          Come on bro. You need to be less defensive about your articles. You gotta handle the criticism better. Part and parcel with subjective top10s

          • Roar Guru

            June 19th 2017 @ 1:27pm
            BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            Not defending the article jeff was having a go at the Warriors performance in 2011. They lost the first game of the finals, so what they made it to the gf. I dont take it as personal attack on my articles. But seriously making comments at 3 am are never good especially for this bloke

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2017 @ 6:11am
      BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 6:11am | ! Report

      Roarers if you have any suggestions for a top ten list just leave you suggestions below and ill see if i can make it happen. Would love to hear your thoughts.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 8:50am
        Oingo Boingo said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Top ten mean spirited responses to your articles
        Big J ?

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          The Barry said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          Could be a ten parter

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 1:28pm
          BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          That could actually be intresting by seriously would anybody actually read that???

          • June 19th 2017 @ 6:24pm
            Oingo Boingo said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

            I’d say TB would feature in quite a few of them .

            • Roar Guru

              June 19th 2017 @ 6:38pm
              BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

              Maybe but i have to go and have a look he never really disses my articles just my comments regarding them or other comments. He always pretty fair when he responds to my articles

              • June 19th 2017 @ 8:28pm
                Oingo Boingo said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                Yes , he’s an assshole , but a likeable one .

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 9:04pm
                BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

                I think one or two of your comments would make that list. Here is pure egotism for you how about a top ten list of my top ten articles ha ha.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 9:44pm
                Oingo Boingo said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

                Oh I dunno , I can only think of one .
                When I questioned your guru status , due to being unable to identify Lady Gagai .

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 6:18pm
        Nat said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

        Hi Big J.
        What about 10 plays that changed the game. Alfies ‘trip’ tackle, Storms wrestle, Gallen’s Punch…

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 6:36pm
          BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

          Sounds good but Gallens punch please explain????

          • Roar Guru

            June 20th 2017 @ 11:47am
            Nat said | June 20th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

            Gallen punching Myles.
            A knee-jerk reaction by Dave Smith to appease the few. Only because it was prime-time in our biggest spectacle. It is a bad look but consider the debacle it has caused since. Consider how many proper dust-ups happened each week and the time they took to resolve and play to resume as opposed to now? Have we saved time or confrontation? We have allowed for ‘Ennis’ style play/ers to push around and stir up a big bloke without fear. For 100 yrs previous and still employed in most RL competitions, a penalty is sufficient.

        • Roar Guru

          June 20th 2017 @ 8:39am
          The Barry said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          Interesting idea…Lewis’ long passing, Joey’s banana kicks, Jim Comans at the judiciary…

          • Roar Guru

            June 20th 2017 @ 8:57am
            BigJ said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

            I really like this, should make for an interesting article. Also things that the game is missing like a proper scrum or hooking for the ball during a scrum or play the ball??? Keep the ideas coming

            • Roar Guru

              June 20th 2017 @ 5:35pm
              The Barry said | June 20th 2017 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

              Bring back the scrum articles have been done to death…

    • Roar Rookie

      June 18th 2017 @ 7:20am
      Hard Yards said | June 18th 2017 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      2008. Manly 40, Melbourne 0. In the 72nd minute playing his 349th and final NRL game, the Beaver scores down the left side. Even people who hate the Sea Eagles loved Menzies.

      • June 18th 2017 @ 8:03am
        AJL. said | June 18th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Everybody loves Beaver.

        • June 18th 2017 @ 11:47am
          Well I'll Be said | June 18th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          BUT not necessarily Steve Menzies.

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2017 @ 12:54pm
        eagleJack said | June 18th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        Definitely my favourite moment HY. Perfectly scripted.

        Was very fortunate to celebrate the recent Blues victory at Suncorp with Beaver in the stands. Lovely family, lovely bloke, cracker of a night!

    • Roar Guru

      June 18th 2017 @ 7:47am
      BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      I hate that grand final and it should be struck from the record books. But even i loved the beaver, did have i look at that moment and it was a specular way to finish one of the best careers Manly had ever produced. Just waiting for Thurston to get his 300th game so i can do a top ten or maybe fifteen 300 game players lists. Beaver will be it for sure. Plus i can always do another moments list.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 19th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Squidward said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        But it’s not Manlys fault Melbourne cheated. Does the fact they cheated make beating them 40-0 even more spectacular ?

        • Roar Guru

          June 19th 2017 @ 6:41pm
          BigJ said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

          No it never should of counted. They were stripped of 07 and 09 as they won but when they lose it counts. The Storm should of been stripped of all points in 08 therefore never making the grand final therefore no opponents for Manly therefore Manly cant win. No winner in 08.

          • Roar Guru

            June 20th 2017 @ 8:41am
            The Barry said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

            Come on b-jay-jay

            You don’t really believe that. Do you? Could you? Oh my…I think he does.

            • Roar Guru

              June 20th 2017 @ 8:54am
              BigJ said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

              Well i know its well after the fact but, in thoery if the Storm were never eligible for the grand final, how could you say that the Sea Eagles would of won against other team ??? Plus im still angry they suspended Cam Smith for the game. But its all in the past now so ill guess ill just have to move on.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 3:59pm
                Wild Eagle said | June 20th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                Have a look at Rhyss Wesser’s lack of effort in helping Sattler in his cover tackle. Hard to imagine what he was doing unless he was injured which didn’t seem to be the case.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 4:19pm
            Wild Eagle said | June 20th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

            Manly wins in 2008 by the greatest GF winning margin ever yet it doesn’t count? Pretty handy system meaning if you cheat and get away with it you keep your title but if you get caught at least you deny anyone else the chance to win.

            Only a matter of time before they bring this one in.

    • June 18th 2017 @ 8:06am
      AJL. said | June 18th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      How the hell do you not have something from 1989? Chicka’s try, Steve Jackson carrying four Tigers over the line in extra time, Mal’s ankle tap, Benny’s missed FG…

      • Roar Guru

        June 18th 2017 @ 8:50am
        BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Calm down mate, thats on the next list. Should of been a little more specific should of said 1990 onwards. No matter you have just given me three moments for the next list, thanks mate.

    • June 18th 2017 @ 8:28am
      Jimmmy said | June 18th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Big J , the Feldt try was a bigger highlight at the 2015 Grand final than the Thurston field goal. I have never been more exhilarated in my life than when Morgs broke through and did the flick to Feldt. The field goal by Thurston was ordained the moment Feldt put the ball down. Conversely I have never felt worse than when Benji did the flick to Richards in 2005. I still have nightmares about Richards palming off Tighe on the way to scoring..

      • June 18th 2017 @ 9:02am
        kk said | June 18th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

        Agreed Jimmmy,

        No Feldt try … No Feldt special spiral… No Hunt spill…No JT field goal.

        Kyle Feldt, my favourite Cowboy, never seems to get the accolades he deserves.

        • Roar Guru

          June 18th 2017 @ 10:16am
          BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          Oh dont worry he will, and dont forget he is number two on my all time greatsest grand final tries list

        • June 18th 2017 @ 2:46pm
          Griffo said | June 18th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          MAX, that should read No Feldt steal… No Feldt try … No Feldt special spiral… No Hunt spill…No JT field goal.

          • June 18th 2017 @ 3:46pm
            kk said | June 18th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            Fair go Griffo, Kyle is pure, pure and honest gold.

            Had he had that conversion attempt there would have been
            no need for golden point.

            I am glad he re-signed.

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2017 @ 4:21pm
              BigJ said | June 18th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

              As i am, great for the Cowboys

            • June 18th 2017 @ 9:10pm
              Griffo said | June 18th 2017 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

              He is very good. I’m glad he’s re-signed.
              I think one of things that people don’t mention about that moment is that it was 2 Townsville products in Morgan and Feldt who made that magic moment happen. Thurston is without a doubt the best player the club has ever had (possibly the best player ever), and they could play another hundred years without another player as good as Thurston, but I think it was fitting that it was a couple of North Queenslanders who came up with that amazing try in the dying seconds to help North Queensland win their maiden premiership.

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