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Grand final player ratings

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Grand final player ratings

    The 34 players score a rating out of 10 from the Herald's writers Jamie Pandaram and Andrew Stevenson.
    Manly Sea Eagles

    1 BRETT STEWART - 7.5
    No man should wish on their worst enemy having to catch the Greg Inglis bomb that Stewart faced. By the time it had come down most fans had gone for a beer run and returned to their seats. The fullback was nowhere near it, got smashed into the goalpost but bounced back.

    How he managed to keep his foot above the white-painted sideline grass for his first-half try will remain one of the great grand final mysteries. Defended the high ball with aplomb apart from one shocker. His second try was magic, his third tragic - for Melbourne.

    3 STEVEN BELL - 7
    Always squeezing himself out of tackles, Bell never let anyone get out of his. Fittingly for a player who has maintained such high quality over so many years, he bowed out of the NRL with a try.

    4 STEVE MATAI - 7
    No surprises with his game. Raced in to smash anything wearing purple, made some strong charges from dummy-half and when the forwards were tired. Also did the one job most required of him: block Folau's runs for the high ball.

    "Wolfie" played like it was full moon. Defended stoutly, ran without fear and there was only one thing to say after his try: "Ooowwwwwwwwww!". Might make the same noise if he gets a Kangaroos call-up.

    6 JAMIE LYON - 8
    Looking more and more like the representative five-eighth that he apparently doesn't want to be - unless he can represent Wee Waa. To Manly's benefit, Lyon has dedicated his energy to the club cause, and his improvement at five-eighth has allowed his captain to shine.

    7 MATT ORFORD (c) - 8.5
    Ran the show like a Dally M medallist should. After smashing the ball out of Kaufusi's arms, he called the play that resulted in the next try. General passing and kicking game - flawless. What pressure? If there were a monkey on his back, it is now saying: "Pray for Mojo".

    8 BRENT KITE - 9
    Huge effort from the player good enough for Australia but not NSW. Never short of a hit-up, and if ever a prop deserved a grand final try it was him. The stretch, putdown and celebration topped off a wonderful year. Wonder if Bellamy wants him now?

    9 MATT BALLIN - 7
    Kicked it off with a sneaky try from close range, Ballin has half the aura of Michael Monaghan but now wears a premiership ring when most said Manly were doomed without the former hooker-halfback. Ballin's personal training business should skyrocket after this.

    10 JOSH PERRY - 7.5
    Big and strong, Perry won a premiership with Newcastle in 2001 and backed up with another powerful performance, carting the ball up to the line - and often through it. No rushes of blood that have proved so costly in the past.

    Strong running, big defence. The horrors of last year's decider were smashed into oblivion by a sledgehammer performance.

    12 GLENN HALL - 7.5
    Smiled his way out of the pre-game huddle. Smiles grew wider as he played a big role in building the Sea Eagles' forward platform. By the way, did you see the smile as he rocketed onto the ball on the way to Bell's try?

    13 GLENN STEWART - 8
    Tackled himself to utter exhaustion, didn't bother conserving energy for his trademark line breaks, just rolled up the sleeves and did what was necessary to win.

    Polished display from the nippy dummy-half. Kept the pressure on the Storm when he replaced Ballin.

    15 MARK BRYANT - 7
    One of the spak-filler boys coming off the bench, he didn't let the tempo slip at all in a mistake-free performance. There mightn't be many who remember all of his career; Bryant won't forget his 100th game however.

    16 JASON KING - 7
    First prop off the bench, King ran with gusto and was heavily involved in defence.

    17 STEVE MENZIES - 8
    Simply . . . the best. Livened up the team when injected after 20 minutes. Kept threatening the defence and was fittingly rewarded with one final try. Is that really the end of Beaver fever?
    Melbourne Storm
    1 BILLY SLATER - 6 Caught bombs that would have made others run in the opposite direction. Problem was, once he had the ball, all he could see were angry Manly dudes ready to chop him down.

    2 STEVE TURNER - 5
    Couldn't get into the game. He could only stretch out and watch as Robertson got his hat-trick. After being exposed in Origin, Turner again looked short of the goods on the big stage. Three tries to his opposite man says that in spades.

    3 MATT GEYER - 5
    A sad farewell for the man who has played for so long that an old adversary like Nathan Brown has been able to start and end a coaching career while "Boofa" kept playing. Maybe last year would have been a better time to quit.

    4 ISRAEL FOLAU - 8
    He was unstoppable early. Folau looked headed for the Clive Churchill Medal after 20 minutes but Manly used all their grit to shut him out. He was checked by Matai a few times as he went for bombs, and now, after experiencing every high in the game, he leaves Melbourne at his lowest point.

    5 ANTHONY QUINN - 5.5
    Couldn't replicate last year's try-scoring heroics - or tame the "Wolfman". At least it wasn't his side of the field that leaked tries like water out of a colander.

    6 GREG INGLIS - 5
    So many believed he would once again pull out a big game in a big game, but GI looked like an average Joe. With Manly defending like they did, the Storm were no chance if this guy didn't fire. And fire he didn't.

    7 COOPER CRONK (c) - 6
    Halfback on grand final night is not exactly the place to be when your team folds, your forwards don't go forward and your backs don't tackle. How was it Coops? "It sucked," he said succinctly.

    8 JEFF LIMA - 5
    One of the stars of last year's premiership victory, Lima was on the receiving end this time. Dropped the ball after a big tackle close to the line and failed to bend the defence as he usually does.

    Struggled during the tough stuff. Cam Smith's absence was always going to be telling, and though Aitken tried hard, he had too much to do for a player so inexperienced.

    10 BRETT WHITE - 4
    Needed to lead from the front. Last week he managed to smack Ben Ross in the head three times in one tackle - when he was running the ball. Could barely redden a toddler's bum last night.

    Did his best to intimidate the opposition but it seemed like Manly's forwards had all found their inner Crockers. Always a grand finalist; not often a winner.

    12 JEREMY SMITH - 7.5
    Stayed in Melbourne to win another premiership. Not quite. Still, kept on firing in a tireless performance - his last before he strips for the Dragons in 2009.

    A queer sort of game from Johnson. Threw himself around every leg he could see but also tried to get involved in passing the ball, which is not his go. Looked lost and isolated without Captain Cam and Ryan Hoffman.

    Bench forwards are supposed to come and make the opposition back-pedal; unfortunately, this one spent more time spinning the wheels on the training bike.

    15 ADAM BLAIR - 5
    Not his sort of game. Manly's dominance meant the Storm were searching for a squadron of tackle drones to try and close the game down. None were found.

    16 SIKA MANU - 6.5
    Inspired a bit of action, with those stocky legs providing some footwork and some much-needed spark for a sagging squad. But it was too little, too late.

    Annoyed the Manly players with his unrelenting defensive style. Made himself known to their attackers, and it was as appreciated as a fly in the mouth.

    Compiled by Jamie Pandaram and Andrew Stevenson
  2. Cletus

    Cletus Active Member

    +11 /0
    LOL i can't believe you've got Melbourne points there as well. Can't disagree on Falou he was outstanding tonight, running through five players at a time he was incredible.
    I thought Hall deserved more, we really missed him last year when he was injured and provided plenty this year.Personally I'd give them all a ten for being freaking awesome, and take half a point off Kingy for dropping a ball and being a numpty for years. 40 nil!!!
  3. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,599 /80
    **** me wasn't Inglis absolute poo through this finals series. 5 is being generous. I'm not sure there is a bigger cat that has ever laced on a boot then Billy Slater, he is a cheap shot merchant. That feet first slide into Robbo epitomises his style of play. GRUB.

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