Next Gen: Warriors' golden victory
He Meads business
A man unwanted by two clubs has found love at a third by kicking a golden-point drop goal to win a grand final.
Jordan Meads packed his bags at Brisbane and Melbourne to join the Warriors, where he won the Jack Gibson Medal as man of the match in Sunday’s Toyota Cup decider against North Queensland.
The halfback scored a fantastic long-range try, kicked astutely, and landed the match-winning point to give theWarriors back-to-back premierships.
“You know he wasn’t wanted by two other clubs,’’ beamed John Ackland in the bowels of ANZ Stadium after fulltime.
In tears afterwards, Meads told Fox Sports’ Braith Anasta of “the brotherhood” at the Warriors – a special relationship they called on all year to survive tough situations.
Eligible for the under 20s again next year, Meads missed a month of football mid-season because of emergency surgery on his appendix, but has played every other game.
With five-eighth Carlos Tuimavave also eligible in 2012, Warriors coach John Ackland already has a halves pairing to launch an assault on a third straight premiership.
What a golden point
Meads’ golden point gave the Warriors exactly 1000 points for the season.
Having started the grand final on 969 points, the Warriors won 31-30.
Already the highest scoring team in Toyota Cup and NRL history – yes, going back to 1908 – the Warriors are only the second team to reach 1000 points.
The Roosters premiership winning Jersey Flegg team in 2004 still hold the record of 1087.
Something for the Warriors to aim for in 2012!
We are one
What a selfless act from Omar Slaimankhel to sit out the grand final!
Before the game he told me he could probably have played. Still, he couldn’t guarantee his hamstring would go the distance.
Rather than risk the injury and leave his team a man down, Slaimankhel let George Maka play fullback ... a role Maka has shone in for the last fortnight.
Slaimankhel didn’t miss a week for the first 25 games of the season, and led the competition’s try scoring with 27.
Here we go again
Can the Warriors do it again next year? It would be a brave man to say no.
Of the 20 players named by John Ackland in his extended grand final squad, 11 can go around again next year.
They are: Slaimankhel, Tuimavave, Meads, Sao, Malu, Tony, Havili, Taukeiaho, Likiliki, Fotofili and Palavi.
Feldt sorry for him
Kyle Feldt was on the verge of ever player’s dream but has a nightmare to deal with now.
North Queeensland bravely fought back from 30-16 down to level at 30-all, when time expired.
His conversion after the siren would have handed the Cowboys their first premiership, but was waved away.
It was a cruel finish for an outstanding player.
In his 49 Toyota Cup games, he’s scored 31 tries. This season it was 25 games for 16 tries. He’s also landed goals at 70%, including 5/7 against the Sharks last week.
When he needed it most, the radar deserted him.
Still, he’s one of 12 Cowboys in the 18-man grand final squad who can play again next year.
Also available: Ulugia, Santo, Elisala, Kaufusi, Taumalolo, Grevsmuhl, Norford, Elliott, Beasley, Veukiso and Svendsen.
To all the people who have read this column and supported the Toyota Cup on Fox Sports this season, I say thank you.
I look forward to doing it all again in 2012.