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Even-money NRL grand final typified a magnificent season

It came as no surprise that the NRL grand final was a mixture of fluctuating fortunes for both teams.
It clearly illustrated how hard it was to pick winners in season 2013.
Ask yourself this question: Did you honestly feel confident that you had settled on a winner before kick off?
Were you confident to declare the Roosters or Sea Eagles as premiers at halftime?
It was an even-money contest.
The first and second half mirrored each other.
The Sea Eagles dominate the opening 20 minutes before the Roosters finished the opening 40 minutes with a wet sail.
The Sea Eagles appeared home and hosed at 18-8 in the second half before the Roosters once again rallied in the final 20 minutes.
Many argue that the Roosters got the “rub of the green” when it came to crucial refereeing decisions.
Hard to argue, but does every decision have to scrutinised?
The Roosters showed plenty of ticker to fightback in the second half after the Sea Eagles were awarded a penalty try.
When Matai scored a short time later it didn’t look good for the Roosters.
In the blink of an eye the Roosters regained their composure to seal victory and cap off a memorable season after missing the finals in 2012.
And it’s always good to see the minor premiers win the grand final, no matter the code.
As mentioned in previous posts, the Roosters were highly impressive when they defeated the Rabbitohs in the final round to claim the minor premiership.
That performance indicated that they were going to take some stopping in the finals.
The Sea Eagles were worthy grand finalists – I still reckon they were slightly lucky against the Sharks during the finals – and you get the impression that injuries cost them at the end of the day.
They were gallant in the grand final, but you get the feeling that the Stewart brothers, Lyon, Matai, Watmough, Ballin and Buhrer went into the biggest game of the year carrying injuries, and of course Fa’aoso was missing.
It may have been a different story had the Sea Eagles fielded a fit side.
To include Cordner and O’Donnell in their final 17 for the grand final was a courageous decision by the Roosters, but it perhaps proved the difference between winning and losing.
With both players on deck the Roosters had every reason to be confident.
Without them it may have given the Sea Eagles the advantage.
Upon reflection, Cherry-Evans was perhaps a worthy of the Clive Churchill Medal.
His kicking game had the Roosters on the backfoot in the first half and he was dangerous with the footy in his hand in the second half.
Of the other Sea Eagles, it was hard to fault Matai, Foran, Watmough and Ballin.
As far as the Roosters are concerned, you could say that they played well as a team as hardly anyone stood out.
Jennings and Maloney had their moments, Kenny-Dowall and Williams had their moments, and Minichiello and O’Donnell were solid.
It was O’Donnell who sparked the Roosters in the first half and, to be fair, Wiliams only came to life in the final 20 minutes.
Until then he was innocuous.
As a Roosters supporter, the grand final was a great result.

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