The Roosters are bitter at going out in straight sets – becoming only the second top-four team to do so in the past five years.
A combination of an ageing roster, injuries and a halfback still finding his feet in the top grade proved the Roosters’ undoing.
But the Roosters can still hold their heads high – winning back-to-back titles was a mighty achievement, a feat not seen since Brisbane won two straight titles with a State of Origin line-up in 1991-92.
And while they lost both their semi-finals against the Panthers and Raiders, they came within a try of winning both against two of the NRL’s top sides.
TAPINE CHANNELS GURU WITH SCG STUNNER
Eric Grothe scored one of rugby league’s most famous finals tries at the old hill end of the SCG for Parramatta against Canterbury in 1983.
Grothe – the best winger I’ve ever seen – took the ball around 25 metres out from the Bulldogs’ line and beat five defenders in quick succession to score a stunner.
Fast forward 37 years and there are eerie similarities between Grothe’s try and the one scored by Canberra’s Joseph Tapine against the Roosters on Friday night.
Same venue, same end of the field, same distance – and Tapine also beat five defenders to score a memorable try.
His performance drew rave reviews from Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
“It was probably the best try I’ve ever seen from a forward,” Stuart gushed.
RABBITOHS MAKE FINALS COMEBACK HISTORY
Penrith beware – Souths are never dead!
The Rabbitohs became the first team to come back from double digit deficits in finals footy for over 20 years with their comeback win over the Eels on Saturday night.
After slow starts against both the Knights and Eels, the Rabbitohs found their mojo to finish convincing winners.
The last team to come back from two such big deficits was the Storm in 1999 – and we know how that ended up… with a premiership!
TEDDY NOTCHES RARE FINALS TRY FEAT
James Tedesco may have been left with egg on his face after missing the grubber kick that led to Jack Wighton’s vital try, but the star fullback did post a milestone at the SCG.
Tedesco’s late touchdown gave him tries in five straight finals matches – a feat achieved by few players in the modern era.
Ironically, the last player to do so was Teddy’s former team-mate Latrell Mitchell, who bagged five straight in finals for the Roosters between 2017 and 2019.
RESTART RULE TREND COMES UNSTUCK
Fans and critics have slammed the 2020 season as being too predictable due to the new set restart rules – and favourites have won more games that usual this year.
But that trend came unstuck on the weekend when two top four teams – the Roosters and Eels – were eliminated in the second round of finals.
That hasn’t happened since way back in 2009 and the form of Canberra and Souths has thrown the race for the title wide open.