Was the 2015 grand final the best ever?
Andrew Voss rates the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final, gives his view on who should have won the Clive Churchill Medal and what he would do with golden point.
Where does the 2015 decider rank on the all time list of grand finals?
After much reflection, I have it number one – but only just ahead of 1989.
And there are plenty of factors that contribute to that.
First of all, my experience of taking in grand final day stretches back as far as 1973. I've haven't missed watching one since.
Until Sunday night, I rated 1989 between Canberra and Balmain on top ahead of 1997's ARL decider between Newcastle and Manly.
The common thread of all three grand finals is that for the winning side it was their first title, so the images of emotion from the fans and players is strong.
All three have match-winning plays that will be remembered for all time. Steve Jackson's unbelievable try for the Raiders. Darren Albert's clincher for the Knights. And then the circumstances of golden point between the Cowboys and the Broncos.
But the greatness of a game shouldn't be defined by its finish alone.
I believe the first half between the Broncos and Cowboys was about as good as it gets. Tremendous rugby league with four terrific tries.
What unfolded after half-time was just compelling viewing. You couldn't look away for a second. There was the bombed try by Kane Linnett. The Adam Blair hit on Johnathan Thurston. The superb goal-line defence of the Broncos. The tension of a tight scoreline all the way through, and then the 80th minute and beyond.
The '89 decider had Benny Elias hitting the crossbar; Michael Neil ankle tapped, and Chicka Ferguson's try, among a host of memorable moments and then 20 minutes of extra time.
But for Sunday night you have to add to the story a crowd of 83,000; the history of the night as a first all Queensland grand final, and the fact that it came down to a kick from the sideline attempted by the sport's biggest superstar.
I can't imagine it could ever get any better.
What about Michael Morgan's pass?
I don't know how much of a student of the game Michael is, but his pass for Kyle Feldt's try with the time remaining at 00.00 inarguably joins the list of greatest and most famous grand final moments.
Think Bob McCarthy's intercept 1967, Royce Simmons double in '91, Nathan Blacklock for the Dragons in 1999.
As long as rugby league is played, that pass and that try will get a run when grand finals are discussed.
And what a fantastic touch that it would be – a Townsville junior passing to another Townsville junior to score the decisive try for North Queensland.
Should we have a shot clock for goalkickers?
My answer would have been yes, until Sunday night's grand final.
How could anyone have rushed Johnathan Thurston's big moment as he looked to claim the Cowboys' first premiership with the sideline conversion of Kyle Feldt's incredible try?
I think you'll find that from when Gerard Sutton blew his whistle to award the try, through until Thurston's right boot striking the ball there was three minutes 40 seconds!
Like all things, any rule or rule change has to 'survive' the grand final test. A kick at goal after the full-time siren would have to be an exception to any future use of a shot clock. The clause could be referred to as the JT rule.
Do we need to change golden point extra time?
I think it is fair to say a summer of controversy was avoided with a swift end to extra time on Sunday night.
I reckon the referees were as relieved as anyone that the Cowboys nailed a kick at first attempt.
Watching a replay of Thurston's field goal kick it appeared to me three or four Brisbane players were offside, but would a penalty have been blown in front of the posts?
I have said for a long time now that golden point is broke, so let's try and fix it.
A field goal shouldn't automatically end play, nor should a penalty goal. Only a try in extra time should be "golden" and bring the match to an instant conclusion.
That way, teams could still kick field goals, and the pressure wouldn't be so great on referees not to blow penalties that lead to shots at goal.
If no try has been scored in the extra 10 minutes, the winner is the side in front. If scores are level, keep on going, knowing that only a try wins it.
I appreciate Wayne Bennett making his comments straight after the game on Sunday night. He has never been a fan of golden point, however I don't recall him appealing for a system change straight after the Broncos win over the Roosters back in Round 6.
Who was best on ground on Sunday night?
I'm not trying to spoil JT's big moment one bit, but I am adamant Anthony Milford was the best player in Sunday's Grand Final.
And for the 21-year-old, I'm disappointed that basically the last three minutes of play denied him that honour. It shouldn't have.
It's not as if players on beaten sides haven't won the award previously, so I'm not sure why Milford had to take a backseat to the emotion of the moment.
So let the 'Voss record book' show that the Grand Final Man of the Match was Anthony Milford, and as I wrote last week, Coach of the Year was announced too early as Paul Green could not possibly have been ranked behind Wayne Bennett.
Green deserves the gong in a year that the Cowboys won the comp; won the most games in their history; recorded their longest winning streak, as well as their longest streak of away victories.
So, who wins next year?
I might reserve that answer for my first column in 2016!
I'm missing the football already and it's only been a few days. What are we supposed to do with our weekends?
Enjoy the off season, and I hope that my column has sparked some healthy debate throughout the year on the greatest sport on the planet.
Giddy Up … and away!