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!Like