Six Memorable Moments from the 2014 NRL Season
The 2014 NRL season wraps up this weekend with the South Sydney Rabbitohs taking on the Canterbury Bulldogs at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium for the title of premiership winners. We take a look back on 5 memorable and controversial moments which happened throughout the season.
1) The Roosters vs. Cowboys semi-final.
For the third year in a row the Cowboys were ruled out of the finals amid controversial circumstances. Trailing by 30 points, the Cowboys began to claw their way back into the game. In the final minute, the Cowboys scored what would have been the winning try, only to have it disallowed by the video referee.
2) The injury no one saw coming.
Alex McKinnon’s career-ending injury in round 3 shocked everyone and left Newcastle struggling to make sense of a terrible accident. Close to the halftime whistle, Storm forward Jordan McLean tackled Knight’s player McKinnon resulting in McKinnon suffering a broken neck and facing life as a quadriplegic. McKinnon’s battle to walk again will go on but his legacy to rugby league will be long-lasting.
3) Rise for Alex.
The Knights were determined to make amends after failing to ‘Rise for Alex’ in the round dedicated to their injured teammate Alex McKinnon. Against an in-form Melbourne Storm, the Knights scored a try right on full time. Kurt Gidley slotted a conversion to steal the win and the Newcastle team piled on top of their captain in an outpour of emotion.
4) The Warriors bounce back.
The gritty victory over the Melbourne Storm was the first sign that the Kiwi team could be a force to be reckoned with in a season which had started based around controversy. Losing coach Matt Elliot three weeks prior, the Warriors were set to fail in the ANZAC game against the Melbourne Storm. But the Warriors prevailed to claim a 16-10 win over the Storm. The game also kick-started the Warriors’ mid-year revival, with the club going on to win six of their eight games which followed.
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5) Isaac Luke’s spear tackle on Sonny Bill Williams.
Controversy has surrounded the NRL’s decision to suspend Isaac Luke from this year’s grand final. Isaac Luke was handed his punishment to have a one week suspension from play after a spear tackle on Sonny Bill Williams during the semi-final round. After uproar from Rabbitohs fans, the NRL has overturned their ruling and will now allow Isaac Luke to enter the field of play after the game is finished to do the victory lap, be in team photos, and be part of the celebrations should the Rabbitohs prevail against the Bulldogs. Regardless however, Luke is unable to receive a premiership ring as he will not be able to play in the 2014 final.
With the Rabbitohs tipped to win, there is no doubt this year’s final is going to be a nail biter for both Rabbit’s and Doggies fans. Sydney will certainly be abuzz with 2014 being one of the most memorable seasons yet and we can’t wait to see who takes out the title of NRL premiership winners.