Five best games of the season

Written By Unknown on Senin, 23 September 2013 | 23.40

Sam Burgess tackled during Rabbitohs v Roosters. Source: Mark Evans / News Limited

EVERYONE has their own favourites and Telegraph league writer Paul Cralwey has pin-pointed what he views as the five best games of the season.

Rd7: Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

Michael Maguire said it was "madness" that no Manly player was sent off and the Rabbitohs coach probably had a point.

Greg Inglis was dropped on his head three times, George Burgess was ironed out by a Steve Matai special and of course there was an all-in brawl just to keep everyone happy.

It was definitely the most brutal match of the year and arguably the best after the Rabbitohs weathered an almighty Manly onslaught to finish 20-12 winners.

The politically correct might not approve but there wouldn't have been one spectator in attendance that night who didn't spent the next day talking about what a great game they'd witnessed.

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Rd8: Knights v Sharks

In a year from hell the Sharks put in some extremely brave performances but it's hard to argue any of them were more courageous than the effort against the Knights in Newcastle back in round 8.

Cronulla lost inspirational skipper Paul Gallen to a knee injury after just three minutes but his teammates rallied and went on to clinch a gutsy 21-20 victory in golden point courtesy of a wobbly Jeff Robson field goal.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Sharks and led a jubilant Shane Flanagan to declare after the game:

"They're a tough bunch and they're getting tougher with all the stuff going on externally.

"We're not the most skilled team in the competition but games like that we'll stick in there and on our day we'll have a fight with anyone."


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Rd24: Dragons v Wests Tigers

It was hardly a year Wests Tigers fans will want to remember but one match they won't forget is round 24 on a glorious Saturday afternoon at the SCG when a star was born.

Teenage sensation Luke Brooks produced a memorable debut to lead the Tigers to a 34-18 win over the Dragons that snapped a six-game losing streak.

After a steady start to the game Brooks turned on a blinder scoring a try, setting up two others and showing a maturity that went way beyond his years.

In that match Benji Marshall also put in his best performance for months but even the outgoing superstar was blown away by the performance of this special young talent that everyone is tipping to be the game's next superstar.

"Outstanding I thought," Marshall said.

"Not only for his age, but for a first game to stand up, lead the team at halfback, kick well, run well, he scored a try and set-up a couple."

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Rd25: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs

Johnathan Thurston might think this is another Sydney-conspiracy by us picking all these Rabbitohs matches but how do you ignore the night Julie Burgess jumped for joy as her four boys etched their names in rugby league history.

It was the first time since 1910 that four brothers had played a first grade game together but even they'd admit Julie stole the show with her performance in the stands and the late charge onto the field.

What a wonderful night this was for rugby league at home and on the international stage.

The Bunnies copped a terrible call early when big Sam was sent to the sin bin and while he was off the field the Tigers charged to an 18-0 lead.

But when Sam returned so did order as the Burgess boys turned Friday Night Football into their own family show.

Sam and Luke both crossed for tries but Julie finished best on ground in the eyes of most fans as she joined her boys on Allianz Stadium after the match for a moment they will be talking about in another 100 years.

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Rd 26: Rabbitohs v Roosters

It was a case of saving the best for last for the Sydney Roosters when they beat their arch rivals in a final round blockbuster played in front of a regular season record crowd of 59,708 fans to clinch the minor premiership.

Back in round one the Rabbitohs dominated the Roosters in the season-opener at Allianz and Sam Burgess' scored a knockout victory over Sonny Bill Williams when he flattened the returning superstar with a thunderous charge.

But in the return bout it was SBW who took the points victory with probably his best performance of the season and that's taking some pretty fantastic performances into account.

The Rabbitohs led 12-10 at halftime before the Roosters raced in 14 unanswered points to claim first spot and end a worrying two game losing streak heading into the finals.

It also set the scene for a fantastic finals series with the Roosters and Rabbitohs now just 80 minutes away from a third and deciding match in the grand final.

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