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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Roosters crush Warriors
Sydney Roosters' Shannon Hegarty
Hegarty scored the Rooster's first try
Roosters 30-8 NZ Warriors

The Sydney Roosters won their first Premiership since 1975 when they beat the New Zealand Warriors in a thrilling NRL Grand Final.

Roosters' captain Brad Fittler provided the inspiration, while Craig Fitzgibbon was the star performer with one try and five conversions.

Shannon Hegarty, Craig Wing, Chris Flannery and Bryan Fletcher scored the Roosters' other tries.

It was a pulsating match as the league's best defensive team, the Roosters, came up against its most flamboyant, the Warriors.

The Roosters launched a succession of big kicks throughout the first half as they attempted to break down the Warriors' defence.

With the New Zealand side's passes failing to stick, the Roosters continued to press forward and a period of relentless pressure resulted in Justin Hodges coming close for the Roosters.

But the Warriors were relieved to see the video referee judge that Richard Villasanti's last-ditch tackle was enough to force Hodges' attempted try just short.

Three minutes later there was no doubt as Shannon Hegarty capped a tremendous Roosters move with the first-half's only try.

Fittler burst through the Warriors defence after Stacey Jones' banana kick went astray, before releasing Brett Mullins.

The captain stormed down the left wing and found Shannon Hegarty on the outside to cap a superb first-half performance with the try.

Fitzgibbon successfully kicked the conversion to put the Roosters into a 6-0 lead.

NZ Warriors' Stacey Jones
New Zealand collapsed in the second-half

The Warriors found a way back into the game four minutes later when Bryan Fletcher was penalised for illegally pushing Villasanti aside and Ivan Cleary kicked the resulting penalty.

The second-half continued at a thrilling pace and it was just five minutes before Jones drew the Warriors level with a superb individual try.

Cleary's successful conversion put the Warriors ahead for the first time in the match.

Craig Wing's try and the subsequent conversion 10 minutes later put the Roosters back in front and Fitzgibbon further extended their lead after breaking through the Warrior's defence for a well deserved try.

With the Roosters now leading 18-8, the Warriors' spirit evaporated.

Chris Flannery added Sydney's fourth try and Fitzgibbon's converted to surpass 700 career points in the NRL.

Bryan Fletcher capped the win with a late try, his last for the east Sydney club, to increase the winning margin to 22 points.


Sydney Rooster: Phillips, Mullins, Hegarty, Hodges, Minichiello, Fittler, Wing, Cayless, Bonetti, Cusack, Fletcher, Fitzgibbon, Ricketson
Replacements: Morley, Lomu, Flannery, Crocker, Robinson, Kidwell, Byrne.

NZ Warriors: Cleary, Murphy, Carlaw, Toopi, Meli, Tony, Jones, Seu-Seu, Marsh, Tookey, Lauiti'iti, Guttenbeil, Campion
Replacements: Hohaia, Villasanti, Koopu, Swann, Betham.

NRL Grand Final


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