The Sydney Roosters will meet the Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL Grand Final this Sunday after an impressive end to the season, and it’s fair to say fans are excited.
After qualifying in an exciting 40-14 win last Saturday against Newcastle, including scoring four tries in 13 minutes, the Roosters look up to the task of bringing the premiership home to the Eastern Suburbs.
It has been three years since the Roosters last reached the grand final and 11 years since a trophy was in their hands, but local residents are confident that this weekend will be time to crow loudly in celebration.
Bondi resident Phillip Occhiuto, owner of Caracalla Design, is planning to head down to a local pub to watch the game.
“It’s pretty exciting that they’re playing against Manly – it’s a good rivalry,” he said. “I’ve been watching the Roosters the whole way and it’s been a great season.”
Ernest Avetisian, a Bondi Beach fitness instructor, is relishing the prospect of a rematch of the Roosters-Sea Eagles week one finals clash where the Roosters were victorious 4-0.
“I think they’ve got what it takes to win – they’ve already beaten Manly three times this season,” he said. “When you’ve got our top players like Sonny Bill [Williams] and [Anthony] Minichiello on form, there’s not much standing in their way.”
Tony Bowen, the former Mayor of Randwick Council, said Sydney Roosters banners are flying high at Clovelly Beach and Alison Park in Randwick.
“I’m proud that Randwick City Council is able to support our local side with 150 street banners,” he said. “Our street banner program promotes major arts, cultural activities and sporting events and is estimated to be seen by 150,000 people each day.”
Coach Trent Robinson has named a strong line-up, with Luke O’Donnell and Boyd Cordner set to take the field after hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.
But Lance Lieber, Director of Bondi Transition Group, remained cautious about picking favourites.
“I think things certainly go over the top with grand finals,” he said. “It comes with the old attitude: whoever wins rules the city.”
The 2013 NRL Grand Final will start at 7.15pm on Sunday night.
By Tara Waniganayaka