LAST Sunday’s Canberra Raiders Cup grand final between the Kangaroos and the Blues promised so much and gee did it deliver.
A game befitting of the occasion went the complete distance. Ninty minutes of brutal rugby league on a warm, sun-drenched afternoon at Seiffert Oval and by the end of extra time I didn’t want anyone to lose.
Such is sport though and you can’t have a grand final without a victor.
The Kangaroos walked out of the colosseum with a third premiership medal in four years.
Such an achievement was seemingly a bridge too far when Aaron Gorrell went down midway through the year with another season-ending knee injury.
‘Dynasty’ is a word that is bandied about a lot but I think it’s a valid tag now for this generation of Kangaroos players after their win.
The disappointment of last year’s grand final loss to Belconnen Scholars was buried as they once again cemented themselves as the top dogs in local rugby league.
Their big game players stepped up. Jordan Macey was a deserving winner of the best on ground medal, steering the Kangaroos around the park beautifully.
Personally, my man of the match was the Kangaroos French prop Sebastien Martins who was imperious up front.
When Matt Lewis came off injured early in the second half and wasn’t to return, Martins took the responsibility for go-forward and left everything he had on the paddock.
For the Blues, the disappointment will no doubt linger and pose the old ‘what could have been’ questions.
They were superb throughout the entire season and I don’t think this constitutes any form of failure at all.
They may disagree and I know what it would have meant to Simon Woolford and his boys to take the crown in his first year in charge.
Having been there the three years prior, the Kangaroos held a slight advantage in the big-match department and the Blues will be better for the defeat.
First though, they will need to soak up the feelings of disappointment but they can bounce back bigger next year.