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Monday, 7 October, 2002, 02:08 GMT 03:08 UK
Morley: Fans deserved it

Moving 12,000 miles to play rugby league might seem a bit excessive - but the feeling of winning the NRL Grand Final made it all worthwhile.

The atmosphere here in Sydney has been unbelievable since we beat the New Zealand Warriors.

Some people back in the UK might have heard rumours that the Aussies are indifferent to rugby league. Do not believe a word of it.


Even though we won, the scoreline was not a fair reflection of our efforts
Adrian Morley

The build-up to the game was phenomenal. There was a whole week of intense focus on us by the media, and expectations were obviously high.

I am just thankful we were able to repay our fans and put in a performance on the day of which we can be proud.

One look at the thousands who came out to welcome us after our win shows that the Sydney faithful certainly appreciated our efforts.

League is something about which the people of Sydney are very passionate. They have waited a long time for this, and they deserve it.

We certainly appreciated their response.

It was a real career highlight for me. Winning in the Challenge Cup final with Leeds was something special but this beat the lot.

Defensively, I thought we were awesome throughout the whole game.

Adrian Morley
Adrian Morley gets stuck in during the Grand Final

We were up against one of the flair teams of rugby league in the southern hemisphere, but our forwards are big and mobile - and hard!

I don't think we played as well as we could have in the first half of the game, but we really came into our own as time ticked on.

Even though we won, the scoreline was not a fair reflection of our efforts.

Craig Fitzgibbon was fantastic for us, and displayed nerves of steel to slot five conversions, and that laid the foundation for us.

It is a great feeling to be part of the winning squad, especially after my frustrations with injuries, and I will be celebrating with a few beers this week.

But there is not too much time to celebrate. I will be returning to the UK next week. And I have to prepare for another clash with the Kiwis in the forthcoming Test series.

Hopefully, I will be getting that winning feeling again.


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