League Player Ratings: Grand Final

A horrible refereeing performance, a video refereeing decision that was just plain wrong and Matt Geyer playing the worst game in a Grand Final in recent memory; all in all a Grand Final that may be remembered for what was poor rather than what was good which is a shame. The good was the fact the Brisbane Broncos just played controlled and effective football over 80 minutes and proved once again that it doesn?t matter what happens over the course of a season ? what matters is what both teams do in 80 minutes on the last Sunday night of the season. Melbourne have had a great season but you don?t win a premiership without a great Grand Final performance and Brisbane know all about putting it together on Grand Final day. With Shane Webcke retiring the game marked the end of the post-2000 era at the Broncos and personally I liked the fact both he and Darren Lockyer could cap this era with a premiership of their own.

Congratulations Brisbane.

2006 GRAND FINAL
BRISBANE BRONCOS 15 def MELBOURNE STORM 8


Man of the Match ? Darren LOCKYER, BRI

Just shaded Tonie Carroll and the official Clive Churchill winner Shaun Berrigan as the best player in the Grand Final. Controlled the Brisbane game plan from the outset and looked composed throughout, allowing his team mates to feed off his confidence and post their 6th premiership. His kicking game kept the Broncos going in the first half when Melbourne had most of the attacking field position which resulted in Brisbane needing a good kick to end their sets from well inside their own half. Set up Justin Hodges for the Broncos first try with a superb inside ball that drew Scott Hill out of the line and created the gap for Hodges to stroll through. Then teamed with Tonie Carroll on the right side to send Brent Tate over for the try that put the Broncos up by 6 points with 17 minutes to play. Capped the game off with a 33m field goal he struck sweet and gave the Broncos an unbeatable 7 point lead with only 7 minutes left. A true champion player who has now won a premiership for his team rather than being simply one of a few great players in a side as he was in 1997, 1998 and 2000. Even though he won the Clive Churchill in 2000 he was still not the leader of the side and in a year when many wrote him off as a champion early on ? he has well and truly left egg on their collective faces.

POS STORM LPR

FB SLATER, Billy 6
WI GEYER, Matt 3
CE KING, Matthew 7
CE INGLIS, Greg 7
WI TURNER, Steve 5
FE HILL, Scott 7
HB CRONK, Cooper 7
PR KAUFUSI, Antonio 6
HK SMITH, Cameron 7
PR WHITE, Brett 5
SR KIDWELL, David 6
SR HOFFMAN, Ryan 6
LK JOHNSON, Dallas 6
BN SMITH, Jeremy 5
BN FRIEND, Nathan 5
BN CROSS, Ben 5
BN BLAIR, Adam 5
TEAM TOTALS 98

POS BRONCOS LPR

FB HODGES, Justin 7
WI BOYD, Darius 7
CE TATE, Brent 7
CE STAGG, David 7
WI HUNT, Karmichael 6
FE LOCKYER, Darren ? 8
HB PERRY, Shane 6
PR WEBCKE, Shane 7
HK BERRIGAN, Shaun 8
PR CIVONICEVA, Petero 7
SR THAIDAY, Sam 6
SR THORN, Brad 7
LK CARROLL, Tonie 8
BN PARKER, Corey 6
BN CARLAW, Dane 6
BN HANNANT, Ben 5
BN McGUIRE, Casey 6
TEAM TOTALS 114

3 ? D Lockyer (8/BRI) 2 ? T Carroll (8/BRI) 1 ? S Berrigan (8/BRI)

The Player of the Finals [must play in 3 games (incl. Grand Final) to qualify and sorted on Average LPR]

8.0 ? D Lockyer (BRI)
7.7 ? C Smith (MEL), C Cronk (MEL)
7.5 ? J Hodges (BRI), S Berrigan (BRI), G Inglis (MEL), T Carroll (BRI)
7.3 ? P Civoniceva (BRI), T Carroll (BRI), B Slater (MEL)

Darren Lockyer takes out the Player of the Finals Award for 2006.
QF v STI: 6
SF v NEW: 8
PF v BUL: 10
GF v MEL: 8
Total: 32 in 4 Games at an LPR Average of 8.0

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