Calls for Syd­neysider sol­i­dar­ity, by hook or by Chooks

NT News - - NRL - DEAN RITCHIE

IT’S rugby league’s ver­sion of Bondi Res­cue.

Syd­ney Roost­ers greats are call­ing on NSW fans to put aside their trib­al­ism and cheer for the Chooks as state pride goes on the line in the NRL ti­tle race.

The open­ing fort­night of the fi­nals has been dis­as­trous for Syd­ney teams. Manly, Cronulla, Pen­rith and Par­ra­matta have all been elim­i­nated, leav­ing the Roost­ers as the Har­bour City’s last hope.

So Syd­ney fans are be­ing urged to grab a latte, jump aboard the Roost­ers band­wagon and cheer for the Bondi boys to stop the tro­phy head­ing to Mel­bourne, Bris­bane or Townsville.

“We are the only Syd­ney team left,” former Roost­ers cham­pion Luke Rick­et­son said af­ter the West­ern Syd­ney surge ended when the Eels and Pan­thers lost on the week­end. “You’d hope that ev­ery­one would get be­hind the Roost­ers. It would be good to keep the tro­phy in NSW.”

The Roost­ers have a no­to­ri­ously small fan base for such a suc­cess­ful club. And there has al­ways been some jeal­ousy and re­sent­ment over the club’s wealth and starstud­ded line-ups.

But Roost­ers leg­end An­thony Minichiello wants Syd­ney fans to for­get all that when North Queens­land come to town for Satur­day night’s grand fi­nal qual­i­fier at Al­lianz Sta­dium.

“You don’t want some­one from Mel­bourne or Queens­land win­ning it, do we?” Minichiello said.

“We’re a win­ning club, we strive for the ul­ti­mate suc­cess.

“We have been around for ev­ery sea­son since 1908.

“There is some rich his­tory at the club, for sure. All New South Welsh­men should start get­ting be­hind the Chooks.

“Al­lianz Sta­dium is in the heart of Syd­ney, so hope­fully we can see a re­ally good crowd sup­port­ing the Roost­ers.”

Roost­ers great Craig Fitzgib­bon added: “Any ex­tra sup­port at this stage of the year is al­ways wel­come, par­tic­u­larly when you’re tak­ing on some out-of-town teams.

“Any sup­port will be ap­pre­ci­ated. We just hope all the Roost­ers fans can flock there in big num­bers and it would be great if we can pick up a cou­ple of neu­trals.”

An­thony Minichiello

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