Roosters House celebrating heroic win
Rooster supporters Phil and Debra Morrow outside their Roosters home which was decorated in the lead-up to grand final day. AT the same time Dubbo’s Apex Oval was playing host to some of the nation’s best rugby league at the Koori Knockout carnival last weekend, footy fever was gripping the state in the lead-up to the NRL grand final.
While Melbourne Storm supporters are reasonably thin on the ground in Dubbo, lifelong Roosters fan Phil Morrow wanted his neighbours, and anyone else who passed his Fitzroy Street home, to know that he was Tricolours through and through.
His wife Debra decorated their front fence, all part of the hype to send him down to Sydney to watch the big game in person.
“I’ve been a Rooster all my life,” Mr Morrow told
“I’m going down to the game, I’ve got my tickets and looking forward to it. I’m going with my nephew from Inverell – he’s a Roosters’ fan as well,” he said not long before heading to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
“I got tickets through a sponsor so that was good,” he added, revealing he was very lucky to get “very good seats, seven rows back on the tryline”.
Like many Roosters’ fans, he’s adopted former Melbourne Storm star halfback Cooper Cronk as one of his own, and would have been stoked that the number 7 was able to play despite a fractured shoulder blade, an injury he suffered against the Rabbitohs in the preliminary final the week before.
Mr Morrow said he was looking forward to seeing Cronk play, pointing out a “fact” that many believe is true, that the NRL powers-that-be had already decided well before the game that a certain Storm player would get the Clive Churchill Medal as best on ground in the grand final.
“I’d love to see Latrell get Man of the Match, he won’t because Billy Slater will, but Latrell Mitchell will be the best player on the field,” Mr Morrow predicted.
In the end, that honour went to Luke Keary who many agreed did a great job picking up any slack left by the injured but heroic Cronk.
“The Roosters haven’t had a good game yet all year, they’re just cruising along, getting better every week – as (Roosters’ coach Trent Robinson) said, they’re just improving every game, and hopefully this grand final will be their best of the season.”
Phil Morrow says if the Roosters’ unpredictable strike weapons such as Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco both fire on the same day, there’s no defence that can contain them.
Mr Morrow said the improvement in Latrell since State of Origin has been amazing to watch. “He’s improved as a player – and probably as a person – a thousand per cent. His game has gone to another level.
“Tedesco, now that he’s playing in a winning team, he’s just proved that he’s got other options too, his passing game is second to none, his chase is exceptional.”
Mr Morrow said Billy Slater is the danger player, whether he’s playing well or not, echoing many in the community who think Billy the Kid gets away with underhanded grubby play that sidelines other players as well as getting penalties just for being who he is. Mr Morrow also believed the Storm’s lucky charm fullback may be targeted with shoulder charges that he himself set as a precedent for being legal hits when he walked free from the NRL Tribunal in the week leading up to grand final day.
“Billy just has to watch out for the Napa Tackle, I don’t think Billy will walk off 100 per cent fit,” Mr Morrow said.
“Go the Roosters.”
PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS
A jubilant Phil Morrow, left, celebrating the Roosters win on Sunday night with his nephew Troy Pollock. PHOTO: SUPPLIED