Monday, 14 October, 2019


Roosters beat Raiders in controversial NRL Grand Final

Classic sunset Classic sunset
Hannah Rogers | 09 October, 2019, 14:25

Cronk was sin-binned during his side's controversial 14-8 win over the Canberra Raiders in Sydney on Sunday night.

Joseph Leilua lies on the field devastated after the 2019 NRL Grand Final.

"The referee initially rules "six again" but then one of his touch judges and the assistant referee immediately tell him it's come off a Canberra player".

Cronk hit Raiders prop Josh Papalii, who looked nearly certain to score, marginally early while defending his line.

The short-handed Roosters, who represent the glamorous beachside suburbs around Bondi, were forced to dig deep in defence as Canberra chased the winning score but they held firm until Cronk returned.

"For individuals, I've been booed a bit this week and last week".

The video referee said it wasn't a penalty try but that it was a professional foul.

The defending champions appeared on the ropes 10 minutes into the second half when playmaker Cooper Cronk was controversially sin-binned for tackling Canberra prop Josh Papalii without the ball, and Raiders co-captain Jarrod Croker kicked the penalty goal to make it 8-all.

After the sin bin, Channel 9 commentator Phil Gould said: "That's really harsh, it's the kind of call that can change a game". I would be pretty shattered if I was the Raiders.

The Green Machine didn't stop believing.

The performance while he was off the field nearly spoke louder than while he was out there with the Roosters.

Cooper Cronk (left) will retire after Sunday's decider. "This club cops a lot of criticism but it has a big heart and soul".

Cronk celebrated the premiership victory and his final game in the NRL on the field with wife Tara Rushton.

He also became the first player in 36 years to win three straight premierships, joining a group of Parramatta players from the club's 1981-83 golden era. We actually did. We got beaten by a good team. "We chose to make a difference and change the momentum of the game and we did".

"It is a humbling experience to live out a dream", Cronk said. I thought I was no chance.

"There were things you probably couldn't see that I couldn't do". He will now retire one of the greatest halfbacks of all time.

"The man is a skilful player but not exceptional. They've got tough jobs", he said in a post-match press conference.

"I know our left side is pretty risky and whenever they go down there with Latrell [Mitchell] and [Luke] Keary, something is going to happen".

"At the same time I am extremely proud of the boys, I love every single one of them and our actions next year will tell us whether we're going to back it up".

While Cronk has been uncomfortable being mentioned in the same breath as the greats.

While there was mass confusion in the lead-up to announcing the award there is little doubt the Canberra five-eighth deserved the prize.

"But I'll tell you what, I'm ready for retirement, I've had enough and these grey hairs are getting too much".

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