You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello says victory over St George Illawarra this Sunday would mean more to him than the Roosters’ last premiership success in 2002.<br><br>The veteran custodian has been to hell and back in recent times with chronic back injuries and a serious ankle injury limiting to just 33 appearances in four years before his successful return this season.<br><br>He had previously been a regular in the NSW and Australian sides, won the prestigious Golden Boot award in 2005 and was a member of Roosters grand final sides in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004 but Minichiello said that another premiership this year would top them all.<br><br>“It would be particularly special because when I first came into first grade I played in four grand finals in five years, so I thought that’s what happened every year,” he said today. <br><br>“Then we went through a down period with the club and personally I had all of those injuries as well. <br><br>“Now that we’re back in another grand final I think it’s actually more satisfying. <br><br>“Being a little bit older, you realise how tough it is to win a premiership and I think you take things in a lot more.<br><br>“If we do win it will be a great feeling.”<br><br>Minichiello was renowned as the iron man of the NRL during the early 2000s, his 96 games for the Sydney Roosters, City Origin, NSW and Australia between 2002-04 more than any of his rugby league peers.<br><br>But a back injury that limited him to just six games in 2006 had many wondering if he could ever return to his peak.<br><br>Incredibly, the 30-year-old missed a whopping 65 games between 2006-09 but he insisted today that he had never seriously considered calling it quits.<br><br>“Not at all,” he said. “I always believed in myself that I’d get back on the field – it just took a lot longer than I thought. <br><br>“A lot of people thought I was close to retiring but I never believed that. I always believed in my ability to come back and play good footy.”<br><br>Asked how he felt to have finally enjoyed a full season again in 2010, Minichiello said: “It’s pretty satisfying. I’ve been pretty happy with my form this year. <br><br>“It’s been a successful season for the club, people have been playing well individually and I’m happy with my back end of the season.”<br><br>Like many of his Sydney Roosters team-mates, Minichiello was deeply hurt by the disasters of last season, when the once-mighty club slumped from one low to another before eventually finishing with the wooden spoon.<br><br>But the club’s longest-serving current player said that the club needed to hit rock bottom to undergo the complete makeover that has led them to where they are now.<br><br>“I’ve been here since 1997 and it was the first time they’ve changed the complete coaching staff – it felt like a new club when we arrived at pre-season training,” he said.<br><br>“It was refreshing… sometimes change is a good thing. It gives you new challenges and new things to look forward to.<br><br>“But we also knew we had a much better squad than where we finished last year.<br><br>“We worked hard in the off-season and we had belief in ourselves that we could give the competition a shake.<br>&nbsp;<br>“By about halfway through the year we really started to think we could do something.”
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners