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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.[1]

2002 (2002) NRL Grand Final  ()
12 Total
NZL New Zealand colours.svg 26 8
SYD Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 624 30
Date6 October 2002
StadiumTelstra Stadium
LocationSydney, NSW, Australia
Clive Churchill MedalCraig Fitzgibbon (SYD)
RefereesBill Harrigan
Broadcast partners
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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.

Sydney RoostersEdit

The 2002 Sydney Roosters season was the 95th in the club's history. Coached by Ricky Stuart and captained by Brad Fittler, they finished the NRL's 2002 Premiership regular season in 4th place.

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.

Match detailsEdit

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

A pre-match performance by Billy Idol was attempted but due to a power outage had to be aborted.[2]

1st halfEdit

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.

2nd halfEdit

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.[3]

30   Sydney Roosters
Tries 1 Hegarty
1 Wing
1 Fitzgibbon
1 Flannery
1 Fletcher
Goals 5/5 Fitzgibbon
Field Goals
8   New Zealand Warriors
Tries 1 Jones
Goals 2/2 Ivan Cleary
Field Goals

Half Time: 6 – 2

Clive Churchill Medalist: Craig Fitzgibbon

Referee: Bill Harrigan

Venue: Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Attendance: 80,130

Scoring timeline

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.


  1. ^ "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]
  2. ^ AAP (7 October 2002). "Idol cancelled due to NRL power shortage". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Roosters end title drought". Sydney Morning herald.