PREVIEW — The Biased Call — Round 6 — Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors
Something a bit different this week. We’ve got the rematch of the 2002 Grand Final and were even surprised with two vintage jerseys, both of which look schmick as $1000 dinner. I myself have pre-ordered the new Roosters kit within minutes of it being dropped and was even tempted to pick up the Warriors one but was collared by the wife.
Do you remember the 2002 Grand Final? Of course you do. Of course you do. I myself, was a mere 7 years old, and it forms one of my earliest memories. The thing that sticks out to me the most is Richard Villasanti’s ‘tackle’ on Freddy Fittler. I’ve never seen someone use their head like that, and the toughness that Freddy showed after that is an act that inspired me as a young bloke, made me want to be a half, and is something that we won’t ever see again with the modern rules. If the 2002 Grand Final was played in 2022 the tactic to take Freddy out would have worked, he would have missed the rest of the game and the NZ Warriors would have been rewarded with their first ever premiership. Even further, without that premiership win from the Roosters, the greatness of Freddy and Ricky Stuart would have been in doubt. There would be questions over Freddy’s ability to lead a team to victory as he’s last premiership win was in the 1991 Grand Final with the Panthers. He played centre that day. But alas, the game was played in 2002 when men were allowed to be men, and the magic sky doctor was just a dream for the future. The tackle just proved to fire up the psychotic Brit Adrian Morley into smashing every bloke he could find. The Chooks found a second wind and the concussion Freddy most likely suffered seem to unlock some hidden part of his footy brain as he willed his team to victory.
Now, 20 years later, the story is the same. We have an incredibly talented Warriors team led by one of the greatest NZ halfbacks we’ve seen and a battling Roosters team with talent all over the park who just need to put the pieces together.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but it all starts in the engine room. Our forwards NEED to dominate. Players like Teddy, Keary, Walker, and Watson can’t play their role without a bit of go-forward. Think back to 2002, it wasn’t until Adrian Morley went nuts and dominated the game that Freddy was unlocked and we scored 24 unanswered points.
Regardless, we should come away with this one and comfortably.
Easts to Win.