The Sydney Roosters is an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League competition and is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in Australian rugby league history, having won fourteen New South Wales Rugby League and National Rugby League titles, several other competitions. Only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons have won more premierships; the club holds the record for having the most wins and the second greatest margin of victory in a match in Australian rugby league history, has won more minor premierships than any other club. The Roosters is one of only two clubs to finish runners-up in its inaugural season; the Eastern Suburbs DRLFC is the only club to have played in each and every season at the elite level, since the 1970s has been dubbed the "glamour club" of the league. Coached by Trent Robinson along with captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, the Roosters play their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The club was founded in 1908 in Paddington, Sydney, as Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club. The Bondi Junction and Moore Park-based Roosters have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with other Sydney-based clubs the South Sydney Rabbitohs, a fellow foundation club based in neighbouring Redfern; the Eastern Suburbs District Rugby League Football Club was formed on 24 January 1908 at a meeting at the Paddington Town Hall in Sydney after it was decided that the district should enter a team in the newly formed New South Wales Rugby Football League. The ESDRLFC was formed, under its articles of association with the NSWRL, to represent the geographic areas in Sydney covering the Waverley, Woollahra, Paddington and Vaucluse local government municipalities, as well as the eastern parts of the Sydney CBD. Indeed, the'suburb' of Sydney, postcode 2000, falls within the official boundaries of the ESDRLFC. Unofficially nicknamed the "Tricolours" due to their red and blue playing strip, Eastern Suburbs won its first match, defeating Newtown 32–16 at Wentworth Oval on 20 April 1908.
In 1913, it became the first club to win three consecutive premierships. However, the club declined and failed to win the premiership for the next nine seasons. Eastern Suburbs missed the finals once from 1926 to 1942, in that time won four titles and the minor premiership on seven occasions. During this period, Dave Brown set several point-scoring records. In 1935, the team lost just one game, recorded the highest winning margin in their history, an 87–7 victory over Canterbury. In 1936, Eastern Suburbs became one of five teams in premiership history to remain undefeated for an entire season, a feat they repeated the following year, they are the only club to remain unbeaten for two consecutive seasons. Despite claiming the premiership in 1945, Eastern Suburbs failed to make the finals for the following seven seasons. A runners-up finish in 1960 was the closest the club came to claiming the premiership during this era. Eastern Suburbs were soundly defeated 31–6 in the grand final that year, by the famous record-beating St George outfit.
In 1966, the club was winless for the first time in its history. It was the last occasion in which the Roosters won the wooden spoon until claiming it again in the 2009 season, it ended a poor run for Eastern Suburbs. The club underwent a renaissance in 1967 after appointing Jack Gibson as coach, introducing a new emblem on the playing jerseys, the rooster. From 1972 to 1982, the Roosters won four minor premierships and played in four grand finals, winning two consecutively. Gibson, now dubbed as "Super Coach", returned to lead the team from 1974 to 1976. In 1974 and 1975, the team won 39 of 44 matches, both minor premierships, both grand finals and set a premiership record of 19 consecutive wins; the 38–0 grand final victory in 1975 against St George was the largest margin in a first grade grand final, the record stood for 33 years until superseded by Manly's 40–nil win over the Melbourne Storm in 2008. Though the 1975 grand final was played in the era of an obsolete scoring system with 3-point tries, the winning margin using 4 points for tries would mean that it is still a record for a grand final at 46-0.
With line-ups including Mark Harris, Elwyn Walters, John Brass, Bill Mullins, Russell Fairfax, Johnny Mayes, John Peard, Ron Coote, Ian Schubert and captain Arthur Beetson, the Centenary of Rugby League panel considered the Roosters of 1974 and 1975 to be among the greatest club teams of all time. Between 1984 and 1995, the Roosters reached the semi-finals once, became known to critics as the "transit lounge", due to the high frequency of player purchases and releases; the club came close to reaching the premiership in 1987 under coach and favourite son Arthur Beetson, being defeated by eventual premiers Manly in a "bruising" major semi-final, 10–6. As the Super League war built up in the mid-1990s, the Roosters recruited high-profile coach Phil Gould and star five-eighth Brad Fittler, both from the Penrith Panthers; this helped to send the Roosters back to the upper end of the ladder. Fittler's presence proved invaluable. In 2002, the club
Anthony Minichiello is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who captained the Sydney Roosters in the National Rugby League, retired having set records for most games and most tries in the club's history. An Australia and Italy international as well as a New South Wales State of Origin representative wing turned fullback, he played his entire career with the Roosters, with whom he won the 2002 and 2013 NRL Premierships, before retiring at the conclusion of the club's 2014 campaign. Minichiello won the Golden Boot Award for international player of the year in 2005, is the brother of fellow Italian international, Mark Minichiello. Minichiello was born in Liverpool in Australia. Minichiello began playing rugby league for East Valley United. Minichiello attended All Saints Catholic Senior College. At a young age, he was spotted by Roosters recruitment officer, rugby league Immortal Arthur Beetson, who signed him up to the foundation club. In 1999 he played for Italy in the inaugural Mediterranean Cup.
On 4 August 2014 he announced his retirement at the end of the season After a stint in the lower grades, Minichiello made his NRL debut at the age of 19 in the Roosters' Round 4 clash on 25 February 2000 at the Aussie Stadium against the Canterbury Bulldogs. This made him the 994th first grader to play for the Roosters, he tasted the bitterness of defeat at the end of his debut year in the Roosters' loss to the Brisbane Broncos in the 2000 NRL Grand Final. By midway through his second season, he had proven himself worthy of representative football when he was selected to play for City Origin in the 2001 City vs Country Origin match against Country Origin. After scoring 16 tries during the 2002 NRL season, Minichiello played on the wing for the Roosters in their 2002 NRL Grand Final win over the New Zealand Warriors, he was part of the successful Roosters team that took out the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 Super League champions, St. Helens. With Mini playing fullback, the Roosters accounted for Saints 38–0 at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England in front of 19,807 fans.
For the first three seasons of his career Mini played on the wing for the Roosters, but the retirement of Luke Phillips following the 2002 NRL Grand Final prompted then-Roosters coach Ricky Stuart to move Minichiello to fullback. His move to fullback coincided with some of the Roosters' best football for the early part of the new millennium, it saw him become an automatic selection for both NSW and Australia for the next few seasons. With the help of the New Zealand former Warriors fullback and newly appointed Roosters Premier League coach Ivan Cleary, Mini would become a vital part of the Roosters attack, his great performance in his new position soon paid off with selection for City in the 2003 City vs Country Origin match and for New South Wales in the 2003 State of Origin series, went on to play in his 100th NRL game for the Roosters in the first Preliminary Final of the 2003 NRL Finals Series. He was declared Man of the Match in the Roosters 28–18 victory over the Bulldogs; the Roosters subsequently lost the 2003 NRL Grand Final to the Penrith Panthers, in which Minichiello played at fullback.
Minichiello ran 4,571 metres with the ball in 2003, more than any other player in the competition. After that he was selected to go on the successful 2003 Kangaroo tour in which Australia defeated their oldest rivals Great Britain 3–0 to retain The Ashes. Mini played on the wing for the Kangaroos in all three tests due to the presence of Brisbane Broncos fullback Darren Lockyer, the captain of the Kangaroos. In 2004, Minichiello was again selected to play for New South Wales but just five days out from Game I he was sacked for taking a mobile telephone out contrary to team instructions during a wild bonding session; however he fought his way back into the squad and help steered New South Wales to its second series victory. He was named the Dally M Fullback of the Year in the 2004 NRL season, where he scored a career best 18 tries for the season, he won the Harry Sunderland Medal as the player's player of the year. Mini went on to play at fullback for the Roosters in their 16–13 loss to the Bulldogs in the 2004 NRL Grand Final.
It was the Roosters third Grand Final loss in four games since 2000. Minichiello was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played at fullback and scored two tries in the Kangaroos' 44–4 victory. Another great season followed in 2005, where Minichiello's performances at fullback for NSW resulted in him winning the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the 2005 State of Origin series; the year was capped off with him winning the Harry Sunderland Medal again as the man of the 2005 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament, despite New Zealand causing a boil over by defeating Australia 24–0 in the Final at Elland Road in Leeds. The game would prove to be Anthony Minichiello's 18th and final test for Australia, he would go on to win the 2005 Golden Boot Award as the international player of the year. One of the longest injury/suspension free period of any player in the modern era came to end in Round 6, 2006.
A back injury, first sustained in Roosters' Round 3 clash on 26 March 2006 against the Canberra Raiders, that required surgery ruled Minichiello out for the remainder of season. His back injury allowed several younger fullbacks to stake claims for the Australian jersey Brisbane Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt. Minichiello's downfall from injury coincided with the Roosters' decline in form, with the team finishing secon
Rugby league positions
A rugby league team consists of thirteen players on the field, with four substitutes on the bench. Each of the thirteen players is assigned a position with a standardised number, which reflects their role in attack and defence, although players can take up any position at any time. Players are divided into two general types and backs. Forwards are chosen for their size and strength, they are expected to run with the ball, to attack, to make tackles. Forwards are required to improve the team's field position thus creating space and time for the backs. Backs are smaller and faster, though a big, fast player can be of advantage in the backs, their roles require speed and ball-playing skills, rather than just strength, to take advantage of the field position gained by the forwards. Forwards tend to operate in the centre of the field, while backs operate nearer to the touch-lines, where more space can be found; the diagram, shows the typical positions of each player during a scrum. The laws of the game recognise standardised numbering of positions.
The starting side wear the numbers corresponding to their positions, only changing in the case of substitutions and position shifts during the game. In some competitions, such as Super League, players receive a squad number to use all season, no matter what positions they play in; the positions and the numbers are defined by the game's laws as: Backs1 Full Back 2 Right Wing Threequarter 3 Right Centre Threequarter 4 Left Centre Threequarter 5 Left Wing Threequarter 6 Stand-off Half or Five-eighth 7 Scrum Half or HalfbackForwards8 Prop 9 Hooker 10 Front Row Forward 11 Second Row Forward 12 Second Row Forward 13 Lock ForwardIn practice, the term'front row forward' is rarely used, a team has two props. The scrum half is known as the half back in Australasia, the lock forward is known as loose forward in England. There are seven backs, numbered 1 to 7. For these positions, the emphasis is on ball-handling skills; the "back-line" consists of smaller, more agile players. Numbered 1, the fullback's primary role is the last line of defence, standing behind the main line of defenders.
Defensively, fullbacks must be able to chase and tackle any player who breaks the first line of defence, must be able to catch and return kicks made by the attacking side. Their role in attack is as a support player, they are used to come into the line to create an overlap in attack. Fullbacks that feature in their respective nations' rugby league halls of fame are France's Puig Aubert, Australia's Clive Churchill and Billy Slater, Charles Fraser, Graeme Langlands and Graham Eadie, Great Britain/Wales' Jim Sullivan and New Zealand's Des White. There are four threequarters: two wingers and two centres - right wing, right centre, left centre and left wing; these players work in pairs, with one winger and one centre occupying each side of the field. Known as wingers. There are two wings in a rugby league team, numbered 2 and 5, they are positioned closest to the touch-line on each side of the field. They are among the fastest players in a team, with the speed to exploit space, created for them and finish an attacking move.
In defence their primary role is to mark their opposing wingers, they are usually required to catch and return kicks made by an attacking team dropping behind the defensive line to help the fullback. Wingers that feature in their nations' rugby league halls of fame are Great Britain's Billy Batten, Billy Boston and Clive Sullivan, Australia's Brian Bevan, John Ferguson, Ken Irvine, Harold Horder and Brian Carlson, South African Tom van Vollenhoven and France's Raymond Contrastin There are two centres and left, numbered 3 and 4 respectively, they are positioned just inside the wingers and are the second-closest players to the touch-line on each side of the field. In attack their primary role is to provide an attacking threat out wide and as such they need to be some of the fastest players on the pitch providing the pass for their winger to finish off a move. In defence, they are expected to mark their opposite centre. Centres that feature in their countries' halls of fame are France's Max Rousié, England's Eric Ashton, Harold Wagstaff and Neil Fox, Wales' Gus Risman and Australia's Reg Gasnier, H "Dally" Messenger, Dave Brown, Jim Craig, Bob Fulton and Mal Meninga.
There are two halves. Positioned more centrally in attack, beside or behind the forwards, they direct the ball and are the team's main play-makers, as such are required to be the most skillful and intelligent players on the team; these players usually perform most tactical kicking for their team. Numbered 6, the stand off or five-eighth is a strong passer and runner, while being agile; this player is referred to as "second receiver", as in attacking situations they are the second player to receive the ball and are able to initiate an attacking move. Star players of this position include Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer, Bob Fulton, Brad Fittler, Laurie Daley and Terry Lamb Numbered 7, the scrum-half or half back is involved in directing the team's play; the position is sometimes referred to as "first receiver", as half backs are the first to receive the ball from the dummy-half after a play-the-ball. This makes them important decision-makers in attack. A rugby league forward pack consists of six players who tend to be bigger and stronger than backs, rely more on their strength and size to fulfill their roles than play-making skills.
The forwards traditionally formed and contested scrums, however in the modern game
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, South Australia to the west, its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen; the Colony of New South Wales was founded as a penal colony in 1788. It comprised more than half of the Australian mainland with its western boundary set at 129th meridian east in 1825; the colony included the island territories of New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island. During the 19th century, most of the colony's area was detached to form separate British colonies that became New Zealand and the various states and territories of Australia.
However, the Swan River Colony has never been administered as part of New South Wales. Lord Howe Island remains part of New South Wales, while Norfolk Island has become a federal territory, as have the areas now known as the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory; the prior inhabitants of New South Wales were the Aboriginal tribes who arrived in Australia about 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Before European settlement there were an estimated 250,000 Aboriginal people in the region; the Wodi Wodi people are the original custodians of the Illawarra region of South Sydney. Speaking a variant of the Dharawal language, the Wodi Wodi people lived across a large stretch of land, surrounded by what is now known as Campbelltown, Shoalhaven River and Moss Vale; the Bundjalung people are the original custodians of parts of the northern coastal areas. The European discovery of New South Wales was made by Captain James Cook during his 1770 survey along the unmapped eastern coast of the Dutch-named continent of New Holland, now Australia.
In his original journal covering the survey, in triplicate to satisfy Admiralty Orders, Cook first named the land "New Wales", named after Wales. However, in the copy held by the Admiralty, he "revised the wording" to "New South Wales"; the first British settlement was made by. After years of chaos and anarchy after the overthrow of Governor William Bligh, a new governor, Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, was sent from Britain to reform the settlement in 1809. During his time as governor, Macquarie commissioned the construction of roads, wharves and public buildings, sent explorers out from Sydney and employed a planner to design the street layout of Sydney. Macquarie's legacy is still evident today. During the 19th century, large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland. Responsible government was granted to the New South Wales colony in 1855. Following the Treaty of Waitangi, William Hobson declared British sovereignty over New Zealand in 1840.
In 1841 it was separated from the Colony of New South Wales to form the new Colony of New Zealand. Charles Darwin visited Australia in January 1836 and in The Voyage of the Beagle records his hesitations about and fascination with New South Wales, including his speculations about the geological origin and formation of the great valleys, the aboriginal population, the situation of the convicts, the future prospects of the country. At the end of the 19th century, the movement toward federation between the Australian colonies gathered momentum. Conventions and forums involving colony leaders were held on a regular basis. Proponents of New South Wales as a free trade state were in dispute with the other leading colony Victoria, which had a protectionist economy. At this time customs posts were common on borders on the Murray River. Travelling from New South Wales to Victoria in those days was difficult. Supporters of federation included the New South Wales premier Sir Henry Parkes whose 1889 Tenterfield Speech was pivotal in gathering support for New South Wales involvement.
Edmund Barton to become Australia's first Prime Minister, was another strong advocate for federation and a meeting held in Corowa in 1893 drafted an initial constitution. In 1898 popular referenda on the proposed federation were held in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania. All votes resulted in a majority in favour, but the New South Wales government under Premier George Reid had set a requirement for a higher "yes" vote than just a simple majority, not met. In 1899 further referenda were held in the same states as well as Queensland. All resulted in yes votes with majorities increased from the previous year. New South Wales met the conditions; as a compromise to the question on where the capital was to be located, an agreement was made that the site was to be within New South Wales but not closer than 100 miles from Sydney, while the provisional capital would be Melbourne. The area that now forms the Australian Capital Territory was ceded by New South Wales when Canberra was selected.
In the years after World War I, the high prices enjoyed durin
Sydney Football Stadium
The Sydney Football Stadium, commercially known as Allianz Stadium and Aussie Stadium, was a football stadium in Moore Park, Australia. Built in 1988 next to the Sydney Cricket Ground, the stadium was Sydney's premier rectangular field venue for rugby league, rugby union and soccer; the Kangaroos, the Wallabies and the Socceroos played at the stadium, while the Sydney Roosters, NSW Waratahs and Sydney FC were the ground's major tenants. The stadium held both National Rugby League semi finals and one preliminary final, held the annual pre-season Charity Shield football match between South Sydney and St George Illawarra for a number of years, it hosted all New South Wales Rugby League/Australian Rugby League rugby league grand finals, as well as the first grand final under the NRL banner, between 1988 and 1998. The NSW Government announced plans in November 2017 for the stadium to be rebuilt; the stadium closed with the last event being a Michael Buble concert. Demolition begun in early 2019, continuing after several legal challenges and being a major topic during the 2019 New South Wales state election.
Prior to its construction, major events were held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as it was the largest stadium in Sydney. But the SCG, being an oval field, was not considered ideal for sports requiring a rectangular field such as soccer, rugby league and rugby union, although it had been used many times for such events. Sydney Football Stadium was built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground in Moore Park, the former SCG No 2 adjacent to the existing SCG. Both were owned by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, it opened by Premier Barrie Unsworth on 24 January 1988. The first sporting event was a rugby league match between the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and St George Dragons on 4 March 1988, its seating capacity was 41,159, but after numerous expansions, today stands at 45,500, although the venue's official record attendance for a sporting event stands at 44,380, set on 31 October 1993 for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifier when the Socceroos played Argentina. The Sydney Football Stadium was the Sydney Roosters' home ground from 1988.
It was built on the site of the old Sydney Sports Ground which served as the Roosters home ground for decades, the old SCG No 2 which served as a secondary ground for some state cricket matches, an additional training ground, athletics. Both grounds were demolished in 1986 to make way for the SFS; the first event held at the venue marked the beginning of the 1988 Rugby League season, with a match between the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and the St George Dragons on Friday 4 March 1988. St George won the game 24-14; the Roosters had to wait until Round 5 that season for their first win at the venue, defeating the Gold Coast Giants 28-10. From 1988 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2005, it served as the home ground for the South Sydney Rabbitohs; the Rabbitohs returned to the ground with a one off game against the Broncos in Round 25 of the 2015 NRL season. The SFS has hosted rugby league football test matches since its opening in 1988 starting with two matches in Australia's 1988 Ashes series win against Great Britain.
The first game of the series saw the Wally Lewis captained, Don Furner coached Australians christen their new Sydney home with a 17-6 win in front of 24,480 fans. That game was the 100th test match between Australia and either Great Britain or England; the record international Rugby League crowd at the stadium was set for the first Ashes against Great Britain on their 1992 Australasian Tour when Australia won 22-6 in front of 40,141 in what was the first time a test in Sydney had attracted over 40,000 fans since 1974. The stadium has hosted the Rugby League Tri-Nations, including the Final of the 2006 tournament in which Australia triumphed 16-12 over New Zealand in Golden point extra-time thanks to a try by captain Darren Lockyer. Rugby league had some memorable moments including: The first grand final in 1988 saw Canterbury-Bankstown defeat Balmain 24-12 in front of 40,000 fans to send club captain Steve Mortimer into retirement with a premiership; the match had its controversial moment when Bulldogs Five-eighth Terry Lamb hit Tigers English import Centre Ellery Hanley with a high tackle out of the game before the 30th minute: The 1989 NSWRL grand final, won by the Canberra Raiders over the Balmain Tigers 19-14 thanks to a try by replacement forward Steve Jackson in extra-time for their first premiership: The 1991 NSWRL grand final won by the Penrith Panthers over Canberra 19-12 in which Penrith's Royce Simmons scored 2 tries in his final match giving the Panthers their first title: Brisbane's maiden premiership with a 28-8 win over St. George in 1992 NSWRL grand final, highlighted by a 95-metre try to Broncos Centre Steve Renouf: and the 1997 ARL Grand Final between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, with the Knights winning their first title with a 22-16 win following a try to Darren Albert in the dying seconds of the game after the Knights had trailed Manly since early in the game.
Manly had won their previous 11 games against the Knights prior to that Grand Final. The last grand final played at the SFS was the 1998 NRL Grand Final between Brisbane. In front of 40,857 fans, the Broncos ran out easy 38-12 winners to win their 4th premiership from four grand Final appearances. Two standout State Of Origin matches in which Queensland triumphed over New South Wales with last-minute victories in 1994 and 1998, as well as Michael O'Connor's sideline conversion in driving rain for a NSW win in Game 2 of the 1991 series. Of note was Queensland's backs to the wall win in Game 2 of the 1989. Despite losing Allan Langer to a broken leg, Mal Meninga with a fractured eye socket and
Chris Flannery (rugby league)
Chris Flannery is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. A Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the Sydney Roosters, with whom he won the 2002 NRL Premiership, in the Super League for St. Helens, with whom he won the 2008 Challenge Cup. Flannery's usual position was lock although he played as a second-row, stand-off or centre. After retiring Flannery administered the Sunshine Coast Falcons of the Queensland Cup. Flannery was born in Australia. Flannery made his National Rugby League début for the Sydney Roosters in Round 14 of the 2000 NRL season against the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on 7 May, he was first selected to play for Queensland in Game II of the 2002 State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium in Brisbane on 5 June. Queensland won 26–18. Flannery played for the Roosters from the interchange bench in their 2002 NRL grand final victory over the New Zealand Warriors, scoring a try.
Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters traveled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St. Helens. Flannery played at centre in Sydney's victory, he again played from the interchange bench for the Roosters in the 2003 NRL grand final, lost to the Penrith Panthers. Flannery played for Queensland in all three matches of the 2004 State of Origin series, he played for the Roosters at lock forward in their 2004 NRL grand final loss to cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. In 2007, Flannery signed for St. Helens on a three and a half year deal. Flannery was brought in as a direct replacement for fellow Australian Jason Hooper who had to retire following problems with his shoulder. Flannery described himself as strong in defence. "I like to add a bit to the ball playing by taking it up at first or second receiver. I like to run good lines into holes." He commenced his Knowsley Road career in 2007, after recovering from a broken leg. He played in the 2008 Super League Grand Final defeat by the Leeds Rhinos.
After returning to Australia, Flannery became chief executive of Queensland Cup team the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Chris Flannery at the Former Origin Greats website. Saints Heritage Society profile
Michael Crocker is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 2000s and 2010s. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Crocker played in 5 Grand Finals during his career, including three consecutive Grand Final appearances between 2002 and 2004, including one victory in 2002. Crocker was born in Auburn, New South Wales, Australia on 21 June 1980, his father Steve was born in Ipswich and the family moved back north of the border when Crocker was just 5 where he began his Rugby League journey with the North's Devils. At the age of 12, Crocker and his team had the privilege of being coached by former QLD halfback Ross Hendricks; the team remained unbeaten in Grand Finals for the next 4 years. Crocker relocated to Redcliffe and had success again under the coaching Mark Murray and Anthony Griffin, both respecteD players and NRL Coaches.
Their under 17 team boasted 7 players who went on to have NRL and in some cases representative careers. Dane Carlaw, Brad Watts, Sam Obst, Brent Tate, Ben Jones and Craig Frawley. Having played in the Queensland Cup for the Redcliffe Dolphins, Crocker moved south to make his NRL debut in 2001 for the Sydney Roosters, one of Australia's oldest clubs, in doing so became the 1,000th footballer to play for them. Crocker played for the Roosters from the interchange bench in their 2002 NRL Grand final victory over the New Zealand Warriors. Having won the 2002 NRL Premiership, the Roosters travelled to England to play the 2003 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, St Helens R. F. C.. Crocker played at hooker in the Sydney Roosters victorious win over St Helens. Crocker made his State of Origin debut for the Maroons whilst playing with the Sydney Roosters in 2003, he became the 136th player to represent Queensland in State of Origin and he scored a try on debut in the second match of the 2003 State of Origin series.
At the end of that season Crocker played in the 2003 NRL grand final which the Roosters lost to the Penrith Panthers. He was selected to go on the 2003 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France, becoming the 714th player to represent his country in the green and gold, contributing to Australia's victory over Great Britain in what would be the last time the two nations contested an Ashes series. Crocker played for the Roosters at second-row forward in their 2004 NRL Grand Final loss against cross-Sydney rivals, the Bulldogs. Crocker was the last player to touch the ball in the game: trailing 16–13 and with less than seconds left on the game, Crocker appeared to make a break down the right-hand side of the field about 30 metres out from the Bulldogs line but lost control of the ball when Andrew Ryan made contact with his arms, dislodging the ball. In 2005, Crocker was involved in an alcohol-fuelled disturbance outside The Palace Hotel in Sydney, he was pleaded guilty to affray and fined $10,000 by the Sydney Roosters.
After signing with the Melbourne Storm in 2006 he became the Storm's lucky charm. In the 2006 preliminary final match against the St George Illawarra Dragons Crocker injured his knee, forcing him to miss the Grand Final match against the Brisbane Broncos, which Melbourne lost, he was part of the victorious Melbourne Storm 2007 NRL Grand Final team against Manly-Warringah. His contribution to the win, was highlighted when he knocked out Manly fullback Brett Stewart with a ball and all tackle. Chasing a high bomb kicked by Greg Inglis, Crocker pursued the ball to make a tackle on Stewart alongside fellow Storm player Billy Slater; the play resulted in Brett Stewart being sidelined for the rest of the match. Several minutes Crocker went on and scored a decisive try. Crocker's outstanding performance in the Grand Final earned him a position in the 2007 New Zealand v Australia Centenary Test, his first international selection since 2004; the Australian team with Crocker playing went on to win this test match by the biggest margin in history.
His representative career continued throughout all of 2008. Crocker played in all 3 games for Queensland in State of Origin, with Queensland winning the series over New South Wales, he was selected to represent his country again, playing for Australia in the Centenary Test commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first test match between Australia and New Zealand. Australia celebrated a resounding victory winning 28–12 against New Zealand. Crocker was a member of the Melbourne team, defeated by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 2008 NRL Grand Final. At the end of the season, Crocker was named in the Australia team for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, was due to play but had to withdraw through a rib injury sustained in the grand final. In an interview with media regarding players for the 2008 World Cup team Australian national coach Ricky Stuart declared English-bound forward Crocker had played his last game for Australia due to his pending defection to English club Hull F. C. However, in August 2008, Crocker was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup despite earlier comments by Kangaroos' coach, Ricky Stuart, that he would not select players leaving Australia to play in England in 2009.
Crocker was contracted to Melbourne Storm for the 2009 NRL season but activated a clause in 2008 that allowed him to accept a lucrative contract with English club Hull F. C. Crocker planned to join Super League side Hull F. C. for the 2009 season on a four-year contract. Hull F. C. confirmed they had signed Crocker on a three-year