2004 NRL Grand Final

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The 2004 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2004 NRL season. It was contested by the Sydney Roosters, who had finished the regular season in 1st place, and the Bulldogs, who had finished the regular season in 2nd place. After both sides eliminated the rest of 2004's top eight teams over the finals series, they faced each other in a grand final for the first time since the 1980 NSWRFL season's decider.

2004 (2004) NRL Grand Final  ()
12 Total
SYD Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 130 13
CBY Canterbury colours.svg 610 16
Date3 October 2004
StadiumTelstra Stadium
LocationSydney, Australia
Clive Churchill MedalWillie Mason (BUL)
RefereesTim Mander
Broadcast partners
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For the second consecutive year, the NRL grand final featured two Sydney-based teams.

Sydney RoostersEdit

The Sydney Roosters finished the 2004 regular season in 1st place, taking out the minor premiership. They subsequently won their two finals matches against the Canberra Raiders 38–12 and then the North Queensland Cowboys 19–16 to make their third consecutive grand final and their fourth in five seasons.

Bulldogs RLFCEdit

The Bulldogs finished the 2004 regular season 2nd (out of 15). They lost their first match of the finals series against the North Queensland Cowboys 22–30 but won their next two against the Melbourne Storm 43–18 and the Penrith Panthers 30–14 to reach their first grand final since 1998.

Match detailsEdit

Pre-match entertainment included performances by Chris Isaak and Australian rock band Grinspoon.[1]

First halfEdit

Sydney Roosters Posit. Bulldogs
1. Anthony Minichiello FB 1. Luke Patten
2. Shannon Hegarty WG 2. Hazem El Masri
3. Ryan Cross CE 3. Ben Harris
4. Justin Hodges CE 4. Willie Tonga
5. Chris Walker WG 5. Matt Utai
6. Brad Fittler (c) FE 6. Braith Anasta
7. Brett Finch HB 7. Brent Sherwin
8. Jason Cayless PR 8. Mark O'Meley
9. Craig Wing HK 9. Adam Perry
20. Peter Cusack PR 11. Willie Mason
11. Michael Crocker SR 14. Reni Maitua
10. Adrian Morley SR 12. Andrew Ryan (c)
12. Craig Fitzgibbon LK 13. Tony Grimaldi
14. Chad Robinson Bench 15. Corey Hughes
15. Chris Flannery Bench 16. Roy Asotasi
16. Ned Catic Bench 17. Sonny Bill Williams
17. Anthony Tupou Bench 18. Johnathan Thurston
Ricky Stuart Coach Steve Folkes

After thirteen minutes, Sydney took the first try of the game with Chris Walker scoring the try and Craig Fitzgibbon converting giving Sydney a 6–0 lead. Ten minutes later Canterbury winger Matt Utai scored the first try with Hazem El Masri failing to convert bringing the score back to 6–4. A few minutes later El Masri levelled the scores at 6–6 with a penalty goal. Just after the 30 minute mark, Brett Finch kicked a field goal to give Sydney a narrow 7–6 lead. Two minutes later Anthony Tupou made a 30-metre break for Sydney before passing to teammate Anthony Minichiello to cross under the posts with Fitzgibbon converting to give Sydney a 13–6 lead. At the 37th minute, Minichiello looked to have his second try, but was penalised for an obstruction.

Second halfEdit

Two minutes into the second half, Utai got his second try for Canterbury with El Masri converting bringing the score back to 13–12. In the 53rd minute, El Masri crossed over for a controversial four-pointer (opinions were divided on whether the winger had been sufficiently held up or not before eventually grounding the ball), but narrowly missed the conversion giving the Bulldogs the lead 16–13. With one minute left and the score at 16–13, Sydney's Michael Crocker made a half break on the Bulldogs 40 meter line but was tackled by stand in Canterbury Captain Andrew Ryan and losing the ball that gave Canterbury their 8th Premiership. It was also former Australian captain Brad Fittler's last game of football.

16   Bulldogs RLFC
Tries 2 Utai
1 El Masri
Goals 2/4 El Masri
Field Goals
13   Sydney Roosters
Tries 1 Walker
1 Minichiello
Goals 2/2 Fitzgibbon
Field Goals 1 Finch

Clive Churchill Medallist: Willie Mason

Half Time: 6 – 13

Referee: Tim Mander (1st grand final appointment)

Venue: Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Attendance: 82,127

When They Scored

13th – Sydney 6–0 (Walker try, Fitzgibbon goal)
23rd – Sydney 6–4 (Utai try)
27th – 6–6 (El Masri penalty goal)
31st – Sydney 7–6 (Finch field goal)
33rd – Sydney 13–6 (Minichiello try, Fitzgibbon goal)
42nd – Sydney 13–12 (Utai try; El Masri goal)
53rd – Bulldogs 16–13 (El Masri try)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Moran, Jonathon (29 September 2004). "Grand Final battle for Grinspoon". AAP General News. pp. Australia. Retrieved 5 October 2009.[dead link]

External linksEdit