2013 NRL Grand Final
The 2013 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2013 NRL season. Played on Sunday, 6 October at Sydney's ANZ Stadium between the minor premiers Sydney Roosters and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. The Roosters won the match 26–18 to claim their 13th premiership title, and became the first team since the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2010 to win the both the minor premiership and the premiership in the same season.
|2013NRL Grand Final|
|Date||6 October 2013|
|Clive Churchill Medal||Daly Cherry-Evans|
|Australian National anthem||Jessica Mauboy|
Steve Carrall (Touch Judge)
Russell Turner (Touch Judge)
The NRL premiers for the 2013 season were decided between two Sydney based clubs, the minor premiers Sydney Roosters and the 4th-placed Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. It was the first time in 41 years the two sides played for a premiership title, which Manly last were victorious in claiming the 1972 title in the then NSWRL competition. Both the Roosters and the Sea Eagles have now featured prominently in grand finals since the turn of the new century, with the Roosters making the grand finals in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010 whilst the Sea Eagles have featured in 2007, 2008 and 2011. Despite making the most appearances in the past 14 seasons the Roosters had only been successful in one of their five previous appearances, when they defeated grand final debutants New Zealand Warriors 30 points to 8 in 2002. The Sea Eagles' last premiership victory was also against the Warriors when they defeated them in the 2011 decider 24 points to 10. It marked the first time since 2005 that either Wayne Bennett, Craig Bellamy or Des Hasler will not coach a side to a grand final, as each have claimed a grand final victory for the past seven seasons. Both Trent Robinson and Geoff Toovey were debutant grand final coaches in their first and second respective years in the NRL.
|Anthony Minichiello (c)||Fullback||Brett Stewart|
|Daniel Tupou||Wing||Jorge Taufua|
|Michael Jennings||Centre||Jamie Lyon (c)|
|Shaun Kenny-Dowall||Centre||Steve Matai|
|Roger Tuivasa-Sheck||Wing||David Williams|
|James Maloney||Five-eighth||Kieran Foran|
|Mitchell Pearce||Halfback||Daly Cherry-Evans|
|Jared Waerea-Hargraves||Prop||Brenton Lawrence|
|Jake Friend||Hooker||Matt Ballin|
|Sam Moa||Prop||Brent Kite|
|Aidan Guerra||2nd Row||Anthony Watmough|
|Sonny Bill Williams||2nd Row||Justin Horo|
|Boyd Cordner||Lock||Glenn Stewart|
|Frank-Paul Nuuausala||Interchange||David Gower|
|Daniel Mortimer||Interchange||Jamie Buhrer|
|Mitchell Aubusson||Interchange||Tom Symonds|
|Luke O'Donnell||Interchange||George Rose|
|Trent Robinson||Coach||Geoff Toovey|
Note: Both Boyd Cordner and Luke O'Donnell were late inclusions to the Roosters squad with Cordner replacing Frank-Paul Nuuausala at lock and both Nuuausala and O'Donnell replacing Isaac Liu and Dylan Napa on the interchange bench.
- Long standing Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello played his sixth grand final for his club after having previously featured in every premiership decider they have reached since 2000, although his only victory came from 2002. Were the Roosters to lose the game he would have been the first player in the history of Australian rugby league to lose five grand finals.
- Jamie Lyon, Brett Stewart, Glenn Stewart, Steve Matai, Brent Kite and Anthony Watmough all played their fourth grand final together, after having previously appeared in their past three appearances for Manly in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
Sunday, 6 October
|Sydney Roosters||26 – 18||Manly Warringah Sea Eagles|
Tupou (25') 1
Guerra (55') 1
Kenny-Dowall (60') 1
Jennings (72') 1
(27', 32' pen, 56', 62', 74')
|1st: 8 - 6
2nd: 18 - 12
1 (9') Taufua
1 (43' pen) Lyon
1 (49') Matai
(17' pen, 44', 51')
Manly began strongly and had control early on. Pressure led to Roosters five-eighth James Maloney kicking out on the full, and a tackle from his opposing number Kieran Foran on back-rower Sonny-Bill Williams led to a dropped ball and possession for the Sea Eagles, which quickly led to their first try, scored by winger Jorge Taufua. Captain Jamie Lyon missed the conversion, making it 4-0 to the Sea Eagles, however a penalty a few minutes later led to a scoreline of 6-0 by the 17th minute. The Roosters came back to score through winger Daniel Tupou on the back of a cross-field bomb from Maloney, and the Five-eighth's sideline conversion brought the scoreline to 6–6. A few minutes later a contentious penalty to the Roosters gave them another two points, and they took the lead into the halftime break, 8–6.
In only the 43rd minute, Manly were in scoring position, with halfback Daly Cherry-Evans grubber-kicking for Lyon, however he was tackled without the ball by Roosters substitute Mitch Aubusson, leading the video referees to rule a penalty try. Lyon converted it to bring the Sea Eagles back to the lead at 12-8. A forced drop-out conceded by the Roosters put Manly into attacking position quickly and they capitalised, Matai scoring and Lyon again converting to push the score out to 18-8 with only 30 minutes remaining. Roosters back-rower Aiden Guerra next scored however, and a conversion brought the Roosters back into the game at 18-14, before a line-break and offload from Williams to Maloney opened the Sea Eagles' defensive line. Maloney sprinted downfield and gave a pass to Minichello. The Roosters captain then put centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall in to score which, along with a conversion from Maloney, put the Minor Premiers back in the lead at 20–18 with 18 minutes to go. An error from the Roosters put Manly back into contention, but a knock on from winger David Williams and a lack of capitalisation on a Roosters mistake brought them back to the Manly end of the field following another line-break from the Roosters' Williams. A grubber kick from Maloney led to a freakish try to centre Michael Jennings, who grounded the ball only centimetres inside the dead ball line. A final conversion to Maloney took the score to 26–18, and even a short kick-off attempt from Manly couldn't crack the Roosters' defence in the last six minutes of play.
Sydney Roosters captain Anthony Minichiello became the first fullback to captain his team to a Grand Final victory since Frank 'Skinny' McMillan in 1934. Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal for best and fairest in the Grand Final, the first awarded to a player from a losing side since 1993, and only the third time this had happened, at the time. Jack Wighton, from the Canberra Raiders, has since achieved this in 2019.  Roosters coach Trent Robinson became the first coach to win a premiership in their first year of coaching in the NRL since Ricky Stuart in 2002.
- Kent, Paul (7 October 2013). "Sydney Roosters beat Manly Sea Eagles 26–18 to win epic NRL Grand Final". news.com.au. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Horne, Ben (5 October 2013). "Manly DNA was formed against Roosters". NRL. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Brown, Michael (4 October 2013). "NRL: Feathers will fly in Sea Eagles-Roosters final". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- "Essential guide to NRL Grand Final featuring Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles". The Telegraph. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Evans, Will (2012). A Short History of Rugby League. p. 38.
- Barton, Joe. "Cherry-Evans' unlikely Churchill medal". NRL.com. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Ian McCullough. "Pearce hopes Robinson will stick around". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
- Walshaw, Nick (15 September 2014). "NRL unveils premiership rings for 2014 season, which are worth $8000 each". The Daily Telegraph. News Ltd. Retrieved 16 September 2014.