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The 10 Best NRL Grand Final Moments Of All-Time, Named And Ranked

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The 10 Best NRL Grand Final Moments Of All-Time, Named And Ranked

By Danielle Smith

While every Grand Final is memorable, some have moments that are truly unforgettable.

These are the top 10 moments which NRL fans aren't likely to forget anytime soon!

2015 - North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos Grand Final - Golden Point Victory


Trailing the Broncos 16-12 with only second left on the clock, the Cowboys needed a miracle. Johnathan Thurston passes the ball to Michael Morgan, who drifts across the field, trying to work out what to do next. He manages to get between two defenders and gets a beautiful right-handed flick pass off to Feldt who scores in the corner right on the buzzer. This levelled the score and gave Thurston the chance to seal victory with a sideline conversion.

Thurston ended up hitting the posts and sent the game into Golden Point.

After a Ben Hunt knock on, the Cowboys end up with the ball and Thurston kicks the winning field goal in extra time. The Cowboys win 17-16 and the game goes down as one of the most memorable and exciting Grand Finals ever.


2014 - South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bulldogs Grand Final - A broken cheekbone and a goanna

2 memorable moments at either end of this amazing Grand Final.

In the first hit up of the game, Sam Burgess ends up with a broken cheekbone. He goes on to play the entire match injured, in what can only be described as a heroic effort.

Then, in the dying minutes of the game, South Sydney are leading 26-6 and are on the verge of the first premiership in 43 years.


Luke Keary makes a break and passes the ball to Inglis. He puts his foot on the pedal, and flies to the try line. Once he scores, he crawls along the ground like a goanna, a nod to his aboriginal heritage, and a post try celebration that he has now become famous for.

The crowd goes wild, his teammates pile on top of him, celebrating the try and knowing the trophy is theirs.

1997 - Newcastle vs Manly Grand Final - Darren Albert crosses for the Holy Grail


With seconds left on the clock the scores are tied up at 16 apiece. Andrew Johns has a field goal attempt that is charged down by Manly. It's regathered by Mark Hughes, who passes it to Darren Albert who is tackled on Manly's 20m line by John Hopoate and Cliff Lyons.

Johns get the ball from dummy half, runs down the blind side, looks to pass to Hughes on the wing, but decides to go back inside to an unmarked Albert who races over to score, and secures the Knights maiden premiership. Ray Warren cheers, "Albert will score! Albert will score! Newcastle have won the Grand Final!" The win meant so much to so many - unless of course you were a Manly fan.

One of the most memorable Grand Finals in history - it really was better than Lego.


2008 - Manly Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm Grand Final - The score was what?!

While technically not a moment, it's definitely a Grand Final memory that is still hard to believe.

The previous year the same two teams played in the decider, with Melbourne taking home the title winning 34-8. Manly were embarrassed by their performance and the score line.

In 2008, the Sea Eagles got their shot at redemption, with the two teams meeting once more. This time it was Manly who destroyed the Storm, smashing their opponents 40-0.

It was the biggest Grand Final score line in NRL history, and the first time a Grand Final team had been kept scoreless ion 30 years.

2003 - Penrith Panthers vs Sydney Roosters Grand Final - Scott Sattler's try saver

With the scores locked at 6-all, Panther's Luke Priddis puts on a little grubber kick that comes off the foot of Roosters Brad Fittler. He picks it up and passes on to his flying winger Todd Byrne.

He breaks away from a Luke Lewis tackle and is streaking down the sideline - you think nothing can stop him. Coming from across the field is Panther's lock Scott Sattler. Somehow managing to reach Byrne, Sattler lunges at the winger, grabs both legs, pulls him to the ground and rolls him over the sideline.

The Panthers go in to win the Grand Final, and Sattler's tackle goes down in history.

2005 - Wests Tigers vs North Queensland Cowboys Grand Final - The Benji Marshall Flick Pass

One that I'm sure no one can disagree with on making the list.

Marshall receives the ball just behind his 10m line, gets past two defenders....and he's off! He crosses the half-way line, does the famous Benji-Step, and goes up a gear. With Cowboys Matt Bowen approaching and Marshall getting closer to the sideline, he sees Pat Richards screaming up behind him. Richards makes his way to the inside of Marshall, where Marshall produces one of the most magical, left-handed, no look flick passes of all time.

Richard's palms off Johnathan Thurston and scores, and the Tigers go on to win the Grand Final 30-16.

So many kids had already been replicating the Benji-Step, but after this mind-blowing pass, there were flick passes being practiced in back yards, parks and footy ovals as far as the eye could see.

1999 - Melbourne Storm vs St George Illawarra Dragons - The Penalty Try

After trailing the Dragons 14-0 at halftime, the Storm clawed their way back into the game. With the score 18-14, Brett Kimmorley puts up a cross filed kick for Craig Smith who catches it in the in-goal. All he has to do is put the ball down to score, but the instant he receives the ball, he gets knocked out by a high shot from Dragons Jamie Ainscough and drops it.

Ray Warren from the commentary box - "Bill Harrigan is about to make one of the biggest calls that's ever been made in 100 years of rugby league."

A Penalty try is awarded, and the score is 18 all with minutes to go. With regular goal kicker Smith knocked out, Matt Geyer steps up and takes the conversion.

The Storm win 20-18, and Captain Glenn Lazarus does one of the most beautiful cartwheels ever witnessed.

2004 - Canterbury Bulldogs vs Sydney Roosters - Stand in Captain Saves the Day

In the Preliminary final the week before, Bulldogs captain Steve Price was injured and ruled out of the Grand Final. Andrew Ryan steps in and leads Canterbury for the very first time.

With 23 seconds left on the clock, the Dogs are leading by 3 points. Roosters Michael Crocker gets the ball on the 40m line and runs through a gap. Somehow from out of nowhere, Andrew Ryan grabs Croker's legs in a sensational tackle, brings him to the ground and forces him to drop the ball.

The Dogs hold on and win, and Ryan and Price hold up the trophy together. In a touching moment, a young Johnathan Thurston who wore the number 18 jersey for the game due to Price being ruled out, gave his Grand Final ring to his captain who he felt deserved it more than anyone.

Andrew Ryan. Credit: Bulldogs
Andrew Ryan. Credit: Bulldogs

2019 - Canberra Raiders vs Sydney Roosters - "But it was called six again!"

Back when we had two referees on the field, we also had one of the most controversial calls in a Grand Final.

With nine minutes left on the clock and the scores locked up at 8-all, a last tackle kick goes up high and seems to come of James Tedesco's shoulder, bouncing back int o the arms of a Raider. The first referee calls 'six-again'.

The ball is passed to Jack Wighton who gets tackled. As he goes to play the ball, the other referee yells "Hand Over!" With the Raiders looking very confused, Wighton says "But it was called six again!" while waving his arm mimicking the call.

In the blink of an eye, the Roosters make their way up the field, with Tedesco scoring what goes on to be the winning try.

2016 - Cronulla Sharks vs Melbourne Storm Grand Final - Fifita Storms over the Try Line

With 12 minutes left on the clock and the Sharks trailing the Storm 12-8, Michael Ennis passes the ball from dummy half to a barnstorming Andrew Fifita. He bulldozers his way through 4 defenders and crashes over the try line.

In the last minute of the game, the Sharks scramble across the field to try and stop a last-ditch attempt by the attacking Storm. They manage to hold on and win the Grand Final 14-12.

After 50 years with an empty trophy cabinet, the Sharks had won their maiden premiership, and could finally turn their porch lights off.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/

Topics: Rugby League, nrl, Australia

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