Before they faced Canberra in the NRL grand final, the Sydney Roosters faced each other and told their teammates exactly what they thought of them. PLUS, Spudd’s fears for Burgess.
Inside the confines of their Rushcutters Bay hotel, Roosters players had the final say in their grand final preparation.
Breaking from tradition in getting a guest speaker or a former great to hand out the grand-final jerseys, the Roosters left it to the players to deliver a final message.
They were given one simple task: tell one of your teammates why you love playing with them and they will return the favour.
Skipper Boyd Cordner and Luke Keary spoke about each other, so too did hookers Jake Friend and Sam Verrills. Veteran winger Brett Morris had his say about Joey Manu.
It was the final act of their long journey together before running on to the field.
“It was a nice little touch,” Friend said. “This group is pretty tight. It was something pretty cool to do.
“You don’t often do that sort of stuff. It was a little bit different. It was a small part on our journey but it was a little point of difference.
“Sammy has been great all year, so it was pretty easy to find words to pump him up.”
Keary told Cordner how much he adored him after their three years playing together.
“I told him I loved him,” Keary said. “He is the leader of our club, state and country. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the world.
“We’re not a highly emotional group. It was emotional for some boys because we let each other know what we mean to each other.”
Manu became emotional when he heard Morris speak about him.
“He told me to back myself,” he said. “I wanted to tell him how cool it had been playing alongside him. All the boys spoke about the pride and love of standing next to someone.”