|2019NRL Grand Final|
|Date||6 October 2019|
|Location||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Clive Churchill Medal||Jack Wighton|
|Australian National anthem||Natalie Bassingthwaighte|
|Referees|| Ben Cummins |
Nick Beashel (Touch Judge)
Chris Butler (Touch Judge)
The 2019 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2019 National Rugby League season and was played at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.The match was contested between defending premiers the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders. The match was won by the Sydney Roosters 14–8 in a tight contest to claim their 15th premiership title, making them the first club in 26 years to win consecutive premierships in a unified competition since the Brisbane Broncos in 1993, and the first Sydney Roosters side to win consecutive titles since 1975. The Clive Churchill Medal was awarded to Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton as the game's man of the match.
The game is one of the most controversial grand finals, infamous for a reversed "six again" decision by referee Ben Cummins which preceded the winning try.
Sydney finished second on the premiership ladder with a record of 17–7. The club comfortably defeated South Sydney 30–6 to qualify for the preliminary final, then defeated minor premiers Melbourne 14–6 in the preliminary final to qualify for the grand final. Having won the 2018 premiership, the Roosters were aiming to win back-to-back premierships, and become the first team since the Brisbane Broncos in the 1992-93 NSWRL to do so in a unified competition. Trent Robinson coached the side to its third grand final in his seventh year coaching the Roosters.
Canberra finished fourth on the premiership ladder with a 15–9 record. The club won through to the grand final with a 12–10 win over Melbourne in the qualifying final, then a 16–10 win over South Sydney in the preliminary final. It was the club's first grand final appearance since 1994, breaking the longest drought of appearances in club history. Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was coaching his first grand final for Canberra in his sixth year with the club; it was his fourth grand final as a coach overall, having led the Roosters to the game in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
It was the first time the Sydney Roosters and the Canberra Raiders contested a Grand Final. The sides faced each other twice during the season, with the Roosters winning both games: a 30–24 win in round 9 on the neutral Suncorp Stadium during Magic Round, and a 22–18 win at GIO Stadium in round 21.
|James Tedesco||Fullback||Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad|
|Daniel Tupou||Wing||Nick Cotric|
|Latrell Mitchell||Centre||Jarrod Croker (c)|
|Joseph Manu||Centre||Joseph Leilua|
|Brett Morris||Wing||Jordan Rapana|
|Luke Keary||Five-eighth||Jack Wighton|
|Cooper Cronk||Halfback||Aidan Sezer|
|Jared Waerea-Hargreaves||Prop||Josh Papalii|
|Sam Verrills||Hooker||Josh Hodgson (c)|
|Isaac Liu||Prop||Sia Soliola|
|Boyd Cordner (c)||2nd Row||John Bateman|
|Mitchell Aubusson||2nd Row||Elliott Whitehead|
|Victor Radley||Lock||Joseph Tapine|
|Angus Crichton||Interchange||Bailey Simonsson|
|Nat Butcher||Interchange||Emre Guler|
|Sio Siua Taukeiaho||Interchange||Corey Horsburgh|
|Jake Friend||Interchange||Dunamis Lui|
|Trent Robinson||Coach||Ricky Stuart|
Brett Morris, Sam Verrills, Angus Crichton, Nat Butcher were the only new additions to the Roosters' grand final winning squad from the previous year. For the Canberra Raiders, all but one of their players played in their first NRL grand final, with centre Joseph Leilua having played for the Roosters in the 2010 Premiership decider; their second-row forward John Bateman had their most first grade grand final experience, having played in four Super League grand finals for the Wigan Warriors.
Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk was playing his 372nd and final game(323 of which were for the Melbourne Storm), retiring as the second most-capped NRL player in the competition's history. The match was his ninth first grade grand final, making him the first player since Ron Coote in 1975 to reach that mark; only Norm Provan and Brian Clay had played in more grand finals, with ten apiece. Having won premierships with Melbourne in 2017 and Sydney in 2018 and 2019, he became the first player since nine members of the Parramatta Eels 1981–83 teams to be involved in three straight premiership victories.
The officiating team, comprising two referees, two touch judges, two review officials and a stand-by in each position is given below. All four on-field officials, Ben Cummins, Gerard Sutton, Nick Beashel and Chris Butler, had officiated in previous NRL grand finals.
|Referees:||Ben Cummins (5)||Gerard Sutton (5)||Grant Atkins|
|Touch Judges:||Nick Beashel (3)||Chris Butler (2)||David Munro|
|Bunker:||Jared Maxwell||Ben Galea|
Numbers in brackets represent the number of grand finals officiated, including 2019.
Sunday, 6 October
|Sydney Roosters||14 – 8||Canberra Raiders|
Verrills (7') 1
Tedesco (73') 1
(8', 21' pen, 74')
|1st: 8 – 6|
2nd: 6 – 2
1 (31') Wighton
(32', 50' pen)
Unfortunate circumstances robbed Canberra of an early scoring chance in the 3rd minute: Canberra prop Sia Soliola charged down Luke Keary's fifth tackle kick, but the ball bounced back off Roosters trainer Travis Touma, who was jogging around seven metres behind play. With no Roosters in the backfield and Raiders' second-rower Elliott Whitehead in best position to pursue the ball, Canberra would have been in a strong position to chase down an opening try; but, instead, the incident fell under the 'mutual interference' rule, resulting in a scrum feed to the Roosters, since the incident occurred in its defensive half.From the ensuring set of six, the Roosters earned a repeat set and attacked the Canberra line: Boyd Cordner crossed but was held up in the 5th minute, before Sam Verrills scored the first try of the game in the 7th minute, grounding the ball next to the posts with a 10m run from dummy-half. Latrell Mitchell converted, and the Roosters led 6–0.
Following the opening try, Canberra gained the territory advantage and made several attacking raids, including a bargeover attempt by Whitehead in the 11th minute which was held up, and several attacking bomb kicks; however, Canberra was unable to find the tryline. During this period, Roosters forward Mitchell Aubusson left the field with a match-ending knee injury.In the 19th minute, as Sydney advanced, Canberra's Joseph Tapine tackled Sydney's Victor Radley high, and Mitchell converted a 35-metre penalty to extend the lead to 8–0.
In the 30th minute, Canberra earned a repeat set after Sydney Roosters full-back James Tedesco fumbled an aerial contest for a bomb kick 10m from his defensive try line. On the next tackle, Jack Wighton broke the line between Sydney Roosters defenders Boyd Cordner and Angus Crichton to score Canberra's first try. Jarrod Croker converted to reduce the margin to 8–6.
The Canberra side fumbled the first play-the-ball after the restart, giving the Sydney Roosters the territory advantage, but several attacking raids came up short. In the last seconds before half-time before half time, Croker was penalised for interfering with Brett Morris in the chase for an attacking bomb; Mitchell's kick from near the sideline missed, and the half-time margin was 8–6.
Canberra dominated the game for the early part of the second half, with several near scoring chances in the first ten minutes. In the 50th minute, as John Bateman attempted a close-quarters pass near the posts to Josh Papalii, who was tackled by retiring Sydney half-back Cooper Cronk before the pass arrived; the referee sent Cronk to the sin bin for ten minutes for a professional foul, and asked the bunker to review for a possible penalty try, which it ruled against. Croker leveled the score at 8–8 from the penalty kick.During Cronk's ten minutes off the field, Canberra continued to dominate possession, but were held out by the Roosters; their only close scoring chance came in the 60th minute, when a chain of fifth tackle passes to the right wing put Brett Morris over in the corner, but was called back when Joseph Leilua's final flick pass was forward.
In the 67th minute, a pass by Radley saw Sio Siua Taukeiaho break the line to swing territory in Sydney's favour; and soon after winning a repeat set from a bomb kick, the Roosters won a penalty for a high tackle against Canberra's Aidan Sezer on Luke Keary. Mitchell missed the wide angle kick, and the score remained 8–8.
The game's most controversial moment came in the 71st minute. A Canberra fifth tackle bomb kick was contested in the air 10m from the try line, and bounced backwards off the Canberra chaser's shoulder to Josh Hodgson. Controlling referee Ben Cummins, believing the ball had hit Sydney full-back James Tedesco, signalled and called 'six again'; seconds later, on the advice of assistant referee Gerard Sutton and touch judge Chris Butler, he changed the signal and call to fifth tackle. The play ended with Jack Wighton, who did not hear or see the changed call, and he took a safe tackle rather than launch another fifth-tackle attacking option, resulting in a changeover.
From the ensuing set, on fourth tackle, Latrell Mitchell broke the line down the left wing at midfield with a flick pass to Daniel Tupou which ended with a try to James Tedesco. Mitchell converted, and the Roosters took a 14–8 lead.An even contest ensued over the last six minutes, the Sydney Roosters able to defend its lead and win the game, 14–8.
Canberra was considered to have played better overall, with more scoring opportunities and territory, but was unable to convert this into a winning score.Overall, the Raiders held 54% of possession. They played with much greater variation in attack, throwing 19 offloads to Sydney's 1, and launching 15 bomb and grubber kicks to Sydney's 9. The Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match was awarded to Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton, who scored one try and led the Raiders' kicking game.
The win made the Sydney Roosters the first club since the Brisbane Broncos in 1992 and 1993 NSWRL seasons to win back-to-back premierships in a unified competition, and the first ever in the post-schism NRL competition. It was the first time the Roosters had won consecutive titles since 1974 and 1975.
The game is widely remembered for Cummins erroneous 'six again' call and the impact it had leading up to the winning try. Following the game, the NRL acknowledged the error and regretted the confusion it caused, while also confirming that the eventual call of fifth tackle was correct and endorsing Cummins' right to change his call on the advice of his assistant referees.Nevertheless, the call drew condemnation from Raiders' and neutral observers. Many analysts also disputed the league's endorsement of Cummins' right to change the call, citing NRL Law 16.9 which allows a judgement call to be changed on another referee's advice only in the event of foul play.
The game's other controversial decisions – the 'mutual interference' with the Roosters' trainer, and the sin binning of Cooper Cronk – were both also endorsed by the league's review.However, the 'mutual interference' rule acknowledged be an outdated rule, remnant from an era when territory was more valuable than possession,
Two opening matches were played on the ground prior to the grand final: the NRL State Championship – in which the Newtown Jets scored a try as time expired to snatch victory from the Burleigh Bears – and the NRL Women's Grand Final, won comfortably by the Brisbane Broncos Women's. Pre-match entertainment was headlined by American pop rock band OneRepublic. Natalie Bassingthwaighte performed the Advance Australia Fair. The match was broadcast live throughout Australia by the Nine Network.
Sunday, 6 October
|Newtown Jets||20 – 16||Burleigh Bears|
Sione Katoa (54', 76') 2
Jackson Ferris (63', 80') 2
Braydon Trindall 1/4
Greg Eastwood 1/1
Ronaldo Mulitalo (38')
|1st: 2 – 10|
2nd: 18 – 6
2 (22', 30') Anthony Don
1 (47') Jamal Fogarty
2/3 Jamal Fogarty
Sunday, 6 October
|Brisbane Broncos Women's||30 – 6||St George Illawarra Dragons Women's|
Lavinia Gould (4') 1
Raecene McGregor (16') 1
Julia Robinson (39') 1
Chelsea Lenarduzzi (42') 1
Amber Pilley (49') 1
Meg Ward 5/6
(18', 33' pen, 41', 43', 50')
|1st: 10 – 0|
2nd: 20 – 6
1 (51') Kezie Apps
1/1 Maddie Studdon
The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership since 1982. Over this period the club has won 3 premierships,. They have not won a grand final since 1994 and last played in a grand final in 2019. They have received 1 wooden spoon and had a total of 15 of its players selected to play for the Australia national rugby league team. The Raiders' current home ground is Canberra Stadium in Bruce, Australian Capital Territory. Previously, the team played home matches at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, with the move to the AIS Stadium in Bruce taking place in 1990. The official symbol for the Canberra Raiders is the Viking. The Viking, also a mascot at Raiders' games, is known as Victor the Viking.
Ricky John Stuart is an Australian professional rugby league football coach who is the head coach of the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and a former rugby league footballer who played as a halfback in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.
The Sydney Roosters have a history that stretches back from the birth of rugby league football in Australia in 1908 to the present day. It is the only remaining club to have played every season of top-tier football in Australia's history.
Cooper Patrick Cronk is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative halfback, he played most of his club career for the Melbourne Storm, though finished his career with the Sydney Roosters, both in the National Rugby League.
The NRL Grand Final determines the champions of the National Rugby League club competition. It is a major sport event in Australia. Since 1999, it has been contested at Stadium Australia in Sydney. The first year it was held at Stadium Australia, it set a new record for attendance at an Australian rugby league game, with 107,999 people attending.
Mitchell Aubusson is a former Australian professional rugby league footballer who played as a second-row and centre, spending his entire career with the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League (NRL). He won three NRL premierships with the Roosters in 2013, 2018 and 2019. He has also played for NSW Country at representative level.
The 2008 National Rugby League season consisted of 26 weekly regular season rounds, starting on 14 March, followed by four weeks of play-offs, culminating in a Grand Final on 5 October.
Jarrod Keith Croker is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who is the captain and goal-kicking centre for the Canberra Raiders in the NRL.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays as a prop for the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League (NRL) and New Zealand at international level.
The 2010 NRL season consisted of 26 weekly regular season rounds, starting on 12 March and ending on 5 September, followed by four weeks of play-offs culminating in the grand final on 3 October.
Jack Wighton is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a five-eighth for the Canberra Raiders in the NRL and Australia at international level.
Daniel Tupou is a professional rugby league footballer who plays on the wing for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL. He has played for Tonga and Australia at international level.
The 2012 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2012 NRL season. Played on Sunday, 30 September at Sydney's ANZ Stadium between the minor premiers Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and the second-placed Melbourne Storm. Melbourne won the match 14–4 in a tight contest to claim their second premiership title after their 2007 and 2009 titles were stripped due to major salary cap breaches.
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 both the minor premiership and the premiership in the same season.
The 2015 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2015 NRL season and was played on Sunday 4 October at Sydney's ANZ Stadium between the Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys. North Queensland won the match 17–16 in golden point extra time, claiming their first premiership title in their twentieth year of competition. Due to its dramatic ending, the match has been regarded as one of the greatest grand finals in rugby league history, drawing comparisons with the 1989 NSWRL Grand Final and the 1997 ARL Grand Final. Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston, who kicked the winning field goal for his team, was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player on the ground. Pre-match entertainment was headlined by Australian rock band Cold Chisel.
Latrell Mitchell is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a fullback for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL, and has represented both New South Wales in the State of Origin series and Australia at international level as a centre.
The 2016 NRL Grand Final was a rugby league match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks to determine the premiers of the National Rugby League for the 2016 season. The match was held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on Sunday 2 October. Cronulla-Sutherland won the match 14–12 in a tight contest before 83,625 spectators, earning the club its first premiership title in their 49-year history. They also became the last of nine Sydney-based teams to win a premiership. Cronulla forward Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player on ground.
Nathaniel Butcher is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a lock and second-row forward for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL. He won an NRL premiership with the Roosters in 2019.
Nikola "Nick" Cotric is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a winger for the Canberra Raiders in the NRL, and Australia at international level
The 2020 NRL Grand Final was the conclusive and premiership-deciding game of the 2020 National Rugby League season held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on October 25. The match was contested between minor premiers Penrith Panthers and second-placed Melbourne Storm. Melbourne led the game 22–0 at half time before holding off a late Penrith comeback to win 26–20, claiming their fourth premiership title. Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the official man of the match. The match was attended by 37,303 spectators due to an enforced limit to stadium capacity by the NSW government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. The game would be the last for Melbourne hooker and captain Cameron Smith after announcing his retirement in the following year, making him the most-capped player in the NRL with 430 games, and the most for a single club.