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Lyon Gutted by Loss in '01

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by ManlyBacker, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    Lyon Gutted by Loss in '01

    By Dean Ritchie
    September 13, 2007

    MANLY'S Jamie Lyon has achieved everything in rugby league. Well, almost everything.

    Lyon has played in an NRL grand final, represented New South Wales and Australia and won an English Challenge Cup and Super League title for giants St Helens. There is just one goal remaining - the NRL title.

    "Nothing would top that," Lyon said.

    Lyon should have won a premiership in 2001 when Parramatta were hot favourites to topple Newcastle. But Andrew Johns had other ideas.

    Lyon has not been near an NRL grand final since. That is until now.

    "That would be the biggest of the lot," he said. "It was big in England because of the tradition but this would be my biggest win.

    "England was unreal, the atmosphere was great. We beat Hull at Old Trafford to win the Super League and Huddersfield at Twickenham to grab the Challenge Cup.

    "But to pick up the NRL would be the best I could win. Everyone wants an NRL premiership."

    Lyon's Sea Eagles have a free weekend before contesting the grand final qualifier against the winner of Sunday afternoon's North Queensland-Warriors semi-final.

    The Wee Waa junior is just 80 minutes from another grand final appearance.

    "The seasons are getting tougher and tougher, so you have to get in there and win one for the club and for yourself," Lyon said. "We're quietly confident."

    Lyon admitted he was gutted to lose with the Eels in 2001.

    "I was only 19 at the time," he said. "We had a crash-hot side and only lost a couple of games all year.

    "But we had it taken from underneath us. I'm older now and realise that these opportunities don't come around all the time. You just have to take your chances.

    "Everything up until now means nothing. No one remembers what sides have achieved up until this point."

    Manly are hoping that injured players Chris Hicks, Glenn Stewart, Brent Kite and Matt Orford will be fit for next week. Kite, Hicks and Stewart had rehab on Wednesday.

    Asked who would win the Cowboys-Warriors game, Manly coach Des Hasler said: "It will be a tight game.

    "It'll be tough for the Warriors up there but the Cowboys have lost a couple of big players."

    Then asked whether fans would love a Manly-Parramatta grand final, Hasler said: "It would be a promoter's dream - but it is out of our control."

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