Stunning gesture after GF heartbreak
VICTORIOUS Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has stunningly given up his $10,000 premiership ring after claiming the 2018 premiership.
The 41-year-old - who has been hailed a genius for his expertly devised plan to lock out grand final kings the Melbourne Storm from scoring for over an hour during Sunday's grand ginal - relinquished his timeless piece of NRL history to a star unable to take the field for the final.
Young prop Lindsay Collins, who starred in Sydney's crucial preliminary final win over the Rabbitohs, was heartbreakingly denied an opportunity to run on with the Roosters in the grand final after Dylan Napa returned from a three-game suspension.
Robinson didn't seem too attached to his new diamond-studded ring and chose to hand it to his 22-year-old protege immediately after the post-match presentation.
Fairfax reported Robinson pulled Collins aside in the dressing room as the Roosters began their celebrations and handed him the ring.
Collins has played 10 games for the tricolours to kick off his NRL career and is expected to make a serious impact in the defending premiers' forward pack in 2019.
ROOSTERS DOCTOR REVEALS CRONK FEARS
The Sydney Roosters' doctor admits he lost sleep fearing painkilling injections on Cooper Cronk's broken shoulder blade wouldn't work in the NRL grand final. Many and varied measures the Roosters consideredto get their prized halfback on the field have been revealed by club doctor Ameer Ibrahim after Cronk defied injury to inspiretheir 21-6 win over Melbourne in the season decider. Everything from a police escort to bone stimulators were weighed up by the Tri- Colours in the frantic race against time to overcome Cronk's "car crash" injury. Cronk may require surgery after Ibrahim revealed the halfback played with a 15cm fracture across the width of his shoulder blade - usually an injury whuchneeds a two-month recovery.
Ibrahim finally thought he had found a solution to getting Cronk on the field after a successful test with painkillers on two games before Sunday's decider. However, it didn't stop him worrying on grand final eve.
"I had a rough night thinking 'what if the injection doesn't work?'," Ibrahim told AAP.
"On the Friday we did a test injection and he was amazing. He was able to lift his arm above his head, do push-ups and tackle,wrestling the physio.
"The question was how can we replicate that and how long would it last? "One hour and 10 minutes waswhat we had in mind for how long it would last but normally that time gets chewed up a lot quicker if there is more traumalike people hitting you." Simply administering the painkillers on game day served up its own headaches for Ibrahim.
Initially he considered getting a CT scan at a specialist near ANZ Stadium to pinpoint the fracture and needle Cronk close to kick-off then get a police escort to the ground.
However, Ibrahim quickly organised grand final accreditation for another specialist who offered to provide and operate anultrasound machine in the dressing room plus administer the injection just 30 minutes before the kick-off. They needled upCronk again at halftime, cutting his jersey off to inject the painkillers.
Asked what other measures they had considered, Ibrahim said: "Anything you can think of.
"He had anti-inflammatories, he had hyperbaric chambers, bone stimulators, lasers, all sorts of braces and splints to keep the fracture together, different strapping ideas.
"The fracture is what you see with car crashes. I thought he was no chance. "At one stage he had trouble doing his shoe laces.I thought 'you have a fracture, you are out' but Robbo (coach Trent Robinson) wanted to give him every chance to play." Like most, Ibrahim was in awe of Cronk's bravery after the Roosters' win, feelingit may even surpass the grand final feats of John Sattler playing with a broken jaw in 1970 and Sam Burgess defying a fracturedcheekbone in 2014. "They (Sattler, Burgess) are legends of the game but for me to come into the game already injured and play80 minutes is mind blowing," Ibrahim said.
- with AAP