The 2019 Rugby League grand final was NOT one for the ages. Maybe the dark ages.
Referee blunders and "strategic "defense marred the game's major event as a spectacle.
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There were more lowlights than highlights but at the end of a tumultuous evening the better side got the chocolates.
A lowlight? In just the third minute Roosters Luke Keary drives the ball onto the Roosters' trainer's head. Channel Nine guru Phil Gould claims Canberra would have scored from the rebound. Referee Ben Cummins thought otherwise and packed a scrum.
A highlight? In the sixth minute Roosters deputy hooker Sam Verillo scored a try that would have ranked highly in Andrew Johns' repertoire.
A lowlight? Roosters lose versatile Mick Aubisson with a painful leg injury.
A highlight? Raiders Jack Wighton is just that- "wighton." He scored a gem of a try and Roosters hang on to an 8-6 lead.
A lowlight? Latrell Mitchell missing vital penalty goals in the first half.
A lowlight to end all lowlights? In the 49th minute Rooster play-maker Cooper Cronk is sin-binned. Nobody knows why, not even the man on the moon. Cronk tries to explain to Cummins that he forgot his spray can so could not evaporate into thin air and avoid the contact that reduced his final game from 80 to 70 minutes.
Highlight, a highlight to end all highlights. Rooster fullback James Tedesco redeems himself by scoring a classic grand final try. So classic it wins the grand final. Earlier the same Tedesco was out-maneuvered on three occasions when he flew for the high ball. From one of those mishaps, the Raiders scored.
A highlight: Raiders captain Josh Hodgson.
A highlight: Rooster skipper Boyd Cordner' honesty when interviewed after the fulltime whistle. Cordner said: "That was far from our best. We won on heart and soul."
Nothing beats winning a grand final even at the fans' expense. This was a game of the modern era. Tackle till you bleed. To hell with the attack. It will take care of itself.
Final highlights: Wighton winning man-of-the-match award. Cronk being the last player to touch the ball, albeit, while tripping over his shadow!