NRL Grand Final
NRL Grand Final

NRL grand final ratings: Wighton deserved best

It was one hell of a grand final played out by two incredibly well-matched teams and in the end the glory went to the Roosters.

But who starred and who had a night to forget?

Check out Greg Davis' player ratings here. Do you agree with his analysis?

 

James Tedesco bursts through the Raiders defence. Picture: Phil Hillyard
James Tedesco bursts through the Raiders defence. Picture: Phil Hillyard

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

 

1. JAMES TEDESCO - 7.5

Scored the match-winner after "six again" drama to break Raider hearts the same way he put a dagger through Queensland in the Origin decider. Has won more medals than Michael Phelps in 2019 and can add the premiership variety to his collection. Shaky under the high ball but ran for 182 metres.

 

2. DANIEL TUPOU - 7.5

A real metre-eater out of his own territory to take the pressure off his forwards. Threw the last pass to Tedesco for the tie-breaker. Carried the ball 165 metres. Very solid.

 

3. LATRELL MITCHELL - 6

Not a lot of chances in attack in the first half with just the three runs but managed two tackle busts. Was well contained by Raiders defence but put Tupou away down the left edge to spark the title-winning try. Missed two difficult penalty goals but knocked over the pressure conversion late.

 

4. JOSEPH MANU - 5

Much like his centre partner , didn't get a heap of chances to shine with the ball. Night games at Homebush aren't normally made for centres. Made 12 tackles and had six runs.

 

Brett Morris tries to get through the Canberra players. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Brett Morris tries to get through the Canberra players. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

5. BRETT MORRIS - 8

Showed all his guile and experience to constantly defuse kicks after being targetted by the Raiders all night. Made 127 running metres and just the one error. Justified the Roosters decision to get him to Bondi.

 

6. LUKE KEARY - 6.5

Touched the footy 30 times and didn't have the same influence as last year's decider. The ankle problem kept him to just two runs but he kicked for 217 metres and steered the Chooks around the paddock.

 

7. COOPER CRONK - 6.5

Sounded like Darren Lockyer at halftime and fulltime interviews. Spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after a professional foul for an early tackle on Papalii. Rock-solid as always in a fairytale finish to his glittering career . Had 31 touches, made 16 tackles and kicked it 10 times.

 

8. JARED WAEREA-HARGREAVES - 8

Had five hit-ups in the first five minutes and finished with 156 running metres and 41 tackles. Set the tone early for the Chooks.

 

Sam Verrills goes in for the first try. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Sam Verrills goes in for the first try. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

9. SAM VERRILLS - 6.5

Clever dart from dummy-half for the first try of the game. The Raiders were worried about everybody but him and he pounced. Played 50 minutes before exiting for Friend .

 

10. ISAAC LIU - 5

Played a handy back-up role to JWH with 69 running metres in the first half. Made a poor handling error in the second half to put his side under pressure

 

11. BOYD CORDNER - 7.5

Jack Wighton beat him to score when he found himself defending on the unaccustomed right edge. But made amends with 132 running metres down the left edge in a trademark blue-collar, lead-by-example captain's knock. If they gave out a Clive Churchill Medal for 5pm shadows, he wins every time.

 

12. MITCHELL AUBUSSON - 4

His grand final ended early when he injured his left knee saving a try. Returned to the sideline in a knee brace. Will be feeling no pain for the next few days.

 

Victor Radley cops one over the shoulder. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Victor Radley cops one over the shoulder. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

 

13. VICTOR RADLEY - 7.5

The bloke with the most Russian-sounding name in the NRL was busy early with six hit-ups for 58 metres until he had to leave the field for a HIA. Had 129 running metres and 31 tackles.

 

14. ANGUS CRICHTON - 5.5

Got more minutes with Aubusson injured. Made 30 tackles and made 49 metres with the footy.

 

16. NAT BUTCHER - 5.5

Forced a turnover with a crunching hit on Lui. Finished with 35 bellringers

 

17. SIOSIUA TAUKEIAHO - 7.5

Had 65 running metres at halftime and finished with 158m by fulltime. Chimed in with 21 tackles.

 

20. JAKE FRIEND - 5

Got 30 minutes and reeled off 23 tackles and nice little kick that gave his side a rest.

 

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on the burst for the Raiders. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on the burst for the Raiders. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

CANBERRA RAIDERS

 

1. CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD - 8

Missed Verrills when he went through him like a turnstile for the opening try but bounced back hard, especially in the second half when he looked dangerous with every touch to finish with a game-high 214 running metres

 

2. NICK COTRIC - 6.5

Played at the footy when he didn't need to to cost his side a set deep in attack in the first half but did plenty of work running the ball out of his own territory to have 127 metres.

 

3. JARROD CROKER - 6

Produced a try-saver on a rampaging Mitchell then bobbed up on the opposite side of the field to clean up a loose ball. Chased kick well and went close to pinching a try on a few occasions . Quit in attack with six runs for 45 metres.

 

Joseph Leilua offloads for the Raiders. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Joseph Leilua offloads for the Raiders. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

4. JOSEPH LEILUA - 6.5

If he had his time over again, he's catch-and-pass to Rapana in the second half instead of absorbing the hit and throwing a flick pass. Got more involved the longer the game went and had 102 running metres

 

5. JORDAN RAPANA - 6

Was begging Leilua to pass the ball quicker in the second half. Strong carries for 125 running metres.

 

6. JACK WIGHTON - 8.5

Well-deserved winner of the Clive Churchill medal but it will be of little comfort. Thought he had six tackles to go late but was caught with the ball . Scored Canberra's sole try with some lovely footwork on a courageous running line. Kicked astutely for 220 metres. Made five tackle busts and looked dangerous with every one of his 10 runs for 83 metres.

 

Aidan Sezer gets taken high during the NRL Grand Final. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Aidan Sezer gets taken high during the NRL Grand Final. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

7. AIDAN SEZER - 5.5

Didn't over play his hand over play his hand with Hodgson and Wighton driving the Green Machine. Had two linebreak assists and backed up Wighton's kicking game.

 

8. JOSH PAPALII - 7

Papa had to make 12 tackles in the first nine minutes when the Chooks had all the ball. When he eventually got his hands on the Steeden, he barged and bullocked his way to 143 running metres and made 31 tackles. Pushed himself to the point of exhaustion before getting a breather.

 

9. JOSH HODGSON - 7

Did his scheming best out of dummy-half but the Roosters ran at him all night to try and dull his attacking brilliance. Missed seven tackles

 

Canberra’s Iosia Soliola cops a high one from' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Canberra’s Iosia Soliola cops a high one from' Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Picture. Phil Hillyard

 

10. IOSIA SOLIOLA - 6.5

Luke Keary used his melon for the old "double falcon hit the trainer and get a scrum feed" move which led to Verrills try. Worked hard with 86 running metres and 29 tackles but his ill-fated charge down was his most memorable moment.

 

11. JOHN BATEMAN - 6.5

Quiet in attack early but worked his way into the match. Made 41 tackles as he led the charge for the Raiders with their aggressive defence. Made 83 running metres as well.

 

12. ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD - 5.5

Got through a heap of defensive work with 36 tackles but not a factor in attack with eight hit-ups.

 

James Tedesco of the Roosters is tackled by Joseph Tapine (left) and Iosia Soliola. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
James Tedesco of the Roosters is tackled by Joseph Tapine (left) and Iosia Soliola. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

13. JOSEPH TAPINE - 5.5

Gave away a penalty with a careless high shot on radley that gift-wrapped two points to the Roosters. part of the hard-working Raiders backrow that did amountain of tackling and added two tackle busts.

 

14. BAILEY SIMONSSON - 3

No action in the first half and came on late when his fullback came off in the dying stages.Four hit-ups and no tackles.

 

15. EMRE GULER - 5

Also wasn't used in the first half but made an impact in the second half with 66 running metres and a tackle bust when the Raiders looked like finishing over the top of the Roosters.

 

16. COREY HORSBURGH - 7.5

The big red-head from Caboolture was fantastic off the bench with 84 running metres and 19 tackles. Made a real impact.

 

17. DUNAMIS LUI - 5.5

A sloppy play-the-ball after Wighton try put his team under pressure but did well with limited opportunities.