PREVIEW 🔍 Robert Crosby looks at what to expect in Sunday night's second State of Origin clash.
11 hours ago
On Sunday night we got the grand final the game both needed and deserved.
I have lost count of how many I have watched - under the NSWRL, ARL, and NRL regimes....but Sunday's rates among the best, and you can throw in Super League for good measure as well.
The best team won - even though Manly had their chances.
The Roosters were the minor premiers, and their consistency throughout the season stood out.
But there are always lessons we can learn from even a great grand final.
The pre-match entertainment was an improvement.
The post-match presentation was a rabble - as it always is!
That surely needs a good hard look at before it comes around again in twelve months minus a couple of days!
The television ratings were reasonable, but no more than reasonable, and the Nine coverage was better than it has been.
The referees were very average - but what's new about that?
The touch judges were, as ever, irrelevant.
The furore surrounding the awarding of the Clive Churchill Medal was unfortunate.
I have no real quarrel with the outcome - I just don't like the process, never have never well!
The Australian Selectors should not choose the winner.
And they especially should not decide the winner when there is a Kangaroos selection the next day.....given the number of NRL players eligible to represent other countries. There might not be bias, but there might be a perception of one we can do without.
The award is a most prestigious one - it honours one of the truly greats, taken from us far too young.
Surely an independent three person panel - a former player, a current or senior official, and perhaps an experienced league writer - could be asked to do the job?
Not a big ask I would have thought!
There are couple of people who are really deserving of being singled out for the highest praise.
And that's the two coaches - the access they gave Nine for a pre-match interview, just minutes before the game was outstanding.
A great grand final....and a very timely one!