Matt Pritchard reflects on a decision that may have turned the Grand Final the Sydney Roosters way.
Congratulations to the Sydney Roosters. To break a twenty-six year record and become the first team this century to win back-to-back Premierships is an outstanding result. Considering Melbourne Storm punished them with a brutal Preliminary Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground a week earlier.
Overall, the Grand Final effort of Canberra Raiders to come out and play real footy was outstanding. There is no disgrace in their effort in going down to the defending champs.
While the six again call will go down as a howler and may have cost the Raiders tonight’s win, what is more concerning is the more obscure call within the first ten minutes.
Back when the rules were introduced, the team with the territorial advantage would get the feed for innocuous incidents such as the ball bursting, or the ball made contact with the referee.
With trainers now more than ever tactically out on the field barking instructions it was bound to happen on Grand Final Day the ball would hit them.
When this happened and the Roosters won the feed, it was Sam Verrills who went over. Good for the young kid who’s had tragedy strike with the passing of his brother from suicide in 2015. For Sam it would have been a special night to win the Premiership.
Momentum is great in our game and to lead 6-0 so early gave the Roosters the upper hand.
Surely there needs to be a change. If the trainer is in the way, a penalty should go against the trainer that the team belongs to. Trainers are not active participants on-field and therefore their participation in a play should be deemed as illegal play.
I’m also okay with commonsense prevailing and the ball being handed to the Raiders.
I would be very surprised if this is not discussed in the pre-season when rule changes are on the table.
Ricky Stuart in his presser was respectful about the six again decision, leaving it to the media to make a call on what would be read on the front of tomorrow’s paper.
A wonderful night of a great contest which will be forgotten among all the critics calling out the game changing six again call.