2002 NRL Grand Final
The 2002 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2002 NRL season. It took place on Sunday, 6 October 2002, at Sydney's Telstra Stadium. 80,130 people saw the Sydney Roosters beat the New Zealand Warriors 30-8. The Clive Churchill Medalist was Craig Fitzgibbon of the Sydney Roosters. The match was also broadcast live in the United States by Fox Sports World.
|2002NRL Grand Final|
|Date||6 October 2002|
|Location||Sydney, NSW, Australia|
|Clive Churchill Medal||Craig Fitzgibbon (SYD)|
The 2002 NRL season was the 95th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the fifth to be run by the National Rugby League. Fifteen teams competed for the Minor premiership which, after the Bulldogs were relegated to the bottom of the ladder for salary cap breaches, was claimed by the New Zealand Warriors. The top eight finishing teams were then reduced to two over the finals series.
New Zealand WarriorsEdit
The 2002 New Zealand Warriors season was the 8th in the club's history. Coached by Daniel Anderson and captained by Stacey Jones and Kevin Campion, they finished the NRL's 2002 Premiership regular season in 1st place.
Both teams entered the cauldron of Telstra Stadium with great form heading into the contest. The Warriors had won their 2 Finals matches they had had. In Week 1 they beat the Canberra Raiders 36-20 in Auckland, before beating the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16-10 at Telstra Stadium. The Roosters had beaten the Sharks 32-20 at the Sydney Football Stadium, then beating the Newcastle Knights in Sydney. Finally they beat the Brisbane Broncos (whom the Roosters were beaten by in the 2000 decider) in Sydney again.
It was the last game of Roosters winger Brett Mullins before retirement.
|Sydney Roosters||Posit.||New Zealand Warriors|
|1. Luke Phillips||FB||1. Ivan Cleary|
|2. Brett Mullins||WG||2. Justin Murphy|
|3. Shannon Hegarty||CE||3. John Carlaw|
|4. Justin Hodges||CE||4. Clinton Toopi|
|5. Anthony Minichiello||WG||5. Francis Meli|
|6. Brad Fittler (C)||FE||6. Motu Tony|
|7. Craig Wing||HB||7. Stacey Jones (C)|
|8. Jason Cayless||PR||8. Jerry Seu Seu|
|9. Simon Bonetti||HK||9. PJ Marsh|
|10. Peter Cusack||PR||10. Mark Tookey|
|14. Adrian Morley||SR||11. Ali Lauiti'iti|
|12. Craig Fitzgibbon||SR||12. Awen Guttenbeil|
|13. Luke Ricketson||LK||13. Kevin Campion|
|11. Bryan Fletcher||Bench||14. Lance Hohaia|
|15. Andrew Lomu||Bench||15. Richard Villasanti|
|16. Chris Flannery||Bench||16. Wairangi Koopu|
|17. Michael Crocker||Bench||17. Logan Swann|
|Ricky Stuart||Coach||Daniel Anderson|
The opening minutes were spent with both teams trading blows, the Roosters mainly with the upper hand. However it took till the 23rd minute for the deadlock to be broken, the Roosters scoring through Shannon Hegarty. Craig Fitzgibbon converted the try and the Sydney Roosters led 6-0. Soon, the Warriors found their rhythm and Ivan Cleary got a penalty goal to make the score 6-2 to the Roosters. It remained that way to half time, the Sydney Roosters holding the upper hand over the New Zealand Warriors.
The second half started rather differently. Within 6 minutes the New Zealand Warriors took the lead. Stacey Jones darted over and the Warriors had the lead when Ivan Cleary converted from in front for a 6-8 score to the New Zealand Warriors. As the game approached its final quarter, a brilliant 40–20 from Roosters five-eighth and captain Brad Fittler saw the Roosters outfit on the front foot again. Craig Wing crashed over, Craig Fitzgibbon converted and the Roosters had a 12-8 lead. It looked as though it was going to be a tense finish but tries to Fitzgibbon, Chris Flannery and Bryan Fletcher as well as 3 conversions from Fitzgibbon meant the Sydney Roosters ran out 30-8 victors over the New Zealand Warriors. The grand final victory ended a 27 year premiership drought at the club.
|8||New Zealand Warriors|
|Goals||2/2 Ivan Cleary|
Half Time: 6 – 2
Referee: Bill Harrigan
Venue: Telstra Stadium, Sydney
23rd Minute: Sydney 6-0 (Hegarty try; Fitzgibbon goal)
29th Minute: Sydney 6-2 (Cleary goal)
46th Minute: New Zealand 8-6 (Jones try; Cleary goal)
58th Minute: Sydney 12-8 (Wing try; Fitzgibbon goal)
65th Minute: Sydney 18-8 (Fitzgibbon try; Fitzgibbon goal)
71st Minute: Sydney 24-8 (Flannery try; Fitzgibbon goal)
75th Minute: Sydney 30-8 (Fletcher try; Fitzgibbon goal)
World Club ChallengeEdit
The Sydney Roosters' victory in the Grand Final meant that they gained the right to travel to England and play in the World Club Challenge against the winners of the 2002 Super League grand final winners, St. Helens.
- "National Rugby League Grand Final, Live on Fox Sports World This Sunday". Business Wire. Los Angeles: Gale Group. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 5 October 2009.[dead link]
- AAP (7 October 2002). "Idol cancelled due to NRL power shortage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- "Roosters end title drought". Sydney Morning herald.