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What a game! Go Panthers! Tough luck Roosters.
Sunday night gave us a beaut game of footy. Over 80,000 screaming fans were on hand to see Penrith defeat the Roosters 18-6 and claim the 2003 NRL premiership.
Man-of-the-match, Luke Priddis was sensational in both attack and defence but for me, the best moment came when Scotty Sattler brought down Todd Byrne with a tremendous covering tackle. There's nothing quite like seeing an old backrower suddenly becoming rocket powered and crashing a flying winger into touch. Top stuff!
This being my last NRL wrap for the 2003 season, I thought it appropriate to remind you all one more time that this Monday Expert tipped the Panthers in round one to take out the premiership. Who took up the advice? For those who doubted, there's always next time and another equally expert tip to come early in the new year.
The countdown now begins for NRL 2004 and what's sure to be another tremendous season of Rugby League - the greatest game of all... bring it on!
2003 NRL GRAND FINAL results
PANTHERS 18 Tries: Rooney 2, Priddis Goals: Girdler 1/1, Campbell 2/2 defeated ROOSTERS 6 Tries: Hegarty Goals: Fitzgibbon 1/1
Sunday 5 Oct 2003 7:00 PM Telstra Stadium Referee: Bill Harrigan Video Referee: Phil Cooley Crowd: 81,166
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - S Sattler (Panthers) 1 - C Fitzgibbon (Roosters)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM's NRL TEAM OF THE YEAR Throughout season 2003, Mondays Expert brought you 'Leagueunlimited.com's players of the match'. The 3-2-1 ratings were decided by our team of 'Live Updaters' who saw every tackle and every hit-up in every NRL match. These are the results based on those match ratings:
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matt Orford (Storm)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM FULLBACK OF THE YEAR: -dead heat- D Lockyer (Broncos) and A Minichiello (Roosters)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM WINGERS OF THE YEAR: F Meli (Warriors), M Sing (Cowboys)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM CENTRES OF THE YEAR: T Hill (Tigers), -dead heat- J Lyon (Eels) and C Toopi (Warriors)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM FIVE EIGHTH OF THE YEAR: P Campbell (Panthers)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM HALF BACK OF THE YEAR: M Orford (Storm)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM PROP FORWARDS OF THE YEAR: L Bailey (Dragons), S Price (Bulldogs)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM HOOKER OF THE YEAR: L Priddis (Panthers)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM SECOND ROWERS OF THE YEAR: C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), J Smith (Rabbitohs)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM LOCK FORWARD OF THE YEAR: G Morrison (Cowboys)
LEAGUEUNLIMITED.COM ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: -dead heat- B Firman (Dragons), B Slater (Storm)
Points Tally - (at the completion of round 26): 29 points: M Orford (Storm) 24 points: P Campbell (Panthers) 23 points: C Gower (Panthers) 21 points: D Lockyer (Broncos), A Minichiello (Roosters), B Sherwin (Bulldogs) 20 points: L Bailey (Dragons) 19 points: A Johns (Knights) 18 points: L Priddis (Panthers) 17 points: B Firman (Dragons), B Slater (Storm) 16 points: C Schicofske (Raiders) 14 points: C Wing (Roosters) 13 points: M Bowen (Cowboys), D Buderus (Knights), C Fitzgibbon (Roosters), S Price (Bulldogs) 12 points: B Fittler (Roosters), T Hill (Tigers), B Kimmorley (Sharks), F Meli (Warriors), J Morris (Eels), G Morrison (Cowboys), M Sing (Cowboys), J Smith (Rabbitohs) 11 points: M Geyer (Storm), J Monaghan (Raiders), R Wesser (Panthers), R Wiki (Raiders) 10 points: M Crocker (Roosters), B Drew (Raiders), H El Masri (Bulldogs), S Jones (Warriors), M McLinden (Raiders), PJ Marsh (Warriors), D Nutley (Sharks), L Withers (Tigers) 9 points: N Hindmarsh (Eels), L Hohaia (Warriors), R Kearns (Storm), D Peachey (Sharks), B Walker (Sea Eagles), S Webcke (Broncos) 8 points: K Campion (Cowboys), J Ferris (Sea Eagles), J Lyon (Eels), W Mason (Bulldogs), M Riddell (Dragons), D Senter (Tigers), G Tallis (Broncos), L Thompson (Dragons), C Toopi (Warriors), B Webb (Warriors) 7 points: P Bailey (Sharks), S Berrigan (Broncos), B Finch (Roosters), B Fletcher (Rabbitohs), K Gidley (Knights), A Guttenbeil (Warriors), B Harris (Bulldogs), S Kearney (Storm), P Rauhihi (Cowboys), S Timmins (Dragons), N Vagana (Bulldogs), M Witt (Eels) 6 points: T Carroll (Broncos), S Faumuina (Warriors), J Hannay (Cowboys), B Kennedy (Knights), M O'Meley (Bulldogs), D Myles (Cowboys), C Pearson (Wests Tigers), J Skandalis (Tigers), T Tahu (Knights), A Watmough (Sea Eagles) 5 points: D Abraham (Knights), O Craigie (Rabbitohs), M Gidley (Knights), M O'Neill (Tigers), J Perry (Knights), T Puletua (Panthers), C Randall (Sea Eagles), S Sattler (Panthers), J Seu Seu (Warriors), C Smith (Storm), P Stringer (Rabbitohs), L Swann (Warriors), S Woolford (Raiders) 4 points: N Blacklock (Dragons), T Byrne (Roosters), N Cayless (Eels), S Donald (Sea Eagles), J Galuvao (Panthers), M Gasnier (Dragons), B Hodgson (Eels), A MacDougall (Knights), L McWilliams (Cowboys), L Ricketson (Roosters), B Tate (Broncos), M Utai (Bulldogs), P Whatuira (Panthers), T Williams (Cowboys) 3 points: B Anasta (Bulldogs), S Bell (Storm), L Covell (Tigers), L Davico (Raiders), M De Vere (Broncos), A Dykes (Eels), C Flannery (Roosters), P Graham (Raiders), S Isemonger (Sharks), A Lauiti'iti (Warriors), L Lewis (Panthers), J Lowe (Cowboys), M McClinden (Raiders), S Menzies (Sea Eagles), A Mogg (Raiders), A Morley (Roosters), R O'Hara (Raiders), L Patten (Bulldogs), K Reynoldson (Storm), L Rooney (Panthers), M Sullivan (Sharks) 2 points: J Anderson (Sharks), D Byrne (Dragons), D Carlaw (Broncos), J Caine (Wests Tigers), L Dorn (Sea Eagles), J Feeney (Bulldogs), B Galea (Tigers), A Graham (Eels), T Grimaldi (Bulldogs), M Head (Dragons), D Heckenberg (Eels), C Heighnington (Tigers), S Hill (Storm), L Hopkins (Eels), M Hughes (Knights), A Laffranchi (Tigers), J Lolesi (Raiders), N Merritt (Rabbitohs), R O?Hara (Raiders), M Parsons (Knights), B Reeves (Sea Eagles), S Rudder (Knights), J Ryles (Dragons), M Sargent (Storm), S Tadulala (Storm), D Wagon (Eels), L Williamson (Eagles) 1 point: T Barrett (Dragons), C Beattie (Sharks), J Bulgarelli (Raiders), J Carlaw (Warriors), P Civoniceva (Broncos), M Creary (Sea Eagles), J Croker (Raiders), J Death (Rabbitohs), S Dunley (Eels), H Fa'afili (Warriors), P Gallen (Sharks), R Girdler (Panthers), E Grothe (Roosters), A Hart (Rabbitohs), J Hodges (Roosters), S Kelly (Broncos), D Kidwell (Storm), L MacDougall (Rabbitohs), R Mears (Tigers), R O'Davis (Knights), C Parker (Broncos), M Peterson (Eels), A Quinn (Knights), C Sheppard (Cowboys), T Smith (Raiders), R Swain (Broncos), J Thurston (Bulldogs), C Webb (Broncos), D Widders (Eels), A Woolnough (Knights)