(content snaffled from nzherald.co.nz and nzoom.com)
The Jones boy keeps delivering
A famous day for Stacey Jones and the club. Fittingly it was Stacey Jones who provided the clincher which took the New Zealand Warriors to their first National Rugby League grand final after beating the Sharks 16-10 in Sydney on Sunday. It was foundation player Jones who new owner Eric Watson and new coach Daniel Anderson asked to revive the team's on-field fortunes after the club went belly up two years ago.
And the little general continued to deliver, beyond all but the wildest imagination of those dark days, when he put in the deft chip kick which broke a 10-10 deadlock with five minutes remaining as the Warriors sunk Cronulla 16-10 in the preliminary final. ...more...
and from NZ Herald:
The gravity of the Warriors’ win struck home in a Telegraph report headlined: "Kiwis A Game Away From The Unthinkable."
"They’ve won the America’s Cup, they own the Melbourne Cup and now they’re 80 minutes away from snatching rugby league’s most treasured prize. "The team that was broke and supposedly on death row two years ago yesterday stormed into the NRL grand final to set up trans-Tasman Us against Them War," Dean Ritchie wrote.
Herald columnist Roy Masters while praising the Warriors as "selfless, unified and resilient", warned the multi-dimensional Roosters would present a different challenge.
"During the past eight weeks, the Sydney team has dismantled and demoralised, winning pretty with speed and finesse in one game, winning ugly with strength and toughness in the next.
Coach Ricky Stuart indicated before yesterday’s match that he would prefer to play the Warriors because the Sharks’ style was so similar to his own team.
"Yet his battered and bruised pack will not relish an encounter with the Warriors’ hard-running forwards.
"Some of the Warriors have hands the size of canned hams, holding the ball in the palm above the outstretched arms of opponents, like giants playing with pygmies.
"The Roosters destroyed the Warriors 44-0 when they last met but that was a pale imitation of yesterday’s play. If the Roosters take that memory of the Warriors into the grand final, they will be like the boxer who has watched Lennox Lewis on tape and formulated a plan: suddenly, he hits you a few times and the plan is worthless."