SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Luke Keary of the Roosters holds up the Provan-Summons Trophy as he celebrates victory in the 2018 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The headline of this opinion piece is going to draw some attention. After all we are talking about a Premiership winning number six here and a player who was once the topic of an interstate rivalry for his services.

That said, noted and duly ignored, no player in the NRL saw his stock rise in 2018 more than the newly minted Kangaroos number six, Luke Keary.

Newcastle fans will rush to sing their superstar number one’s praises, absolutely correctly, but Keary’s last month-or-so has been downright incredible.

Keary virtually lead his side around the park on Grand Final day without a halves partner as Cooper Cronk was reduced to an on-field coach.

Keary did nearly all of the running and early on was solely responsible to ball play and kicking.

Considering he was marking the game’s premier number six in Cameron Munster, that was no easy task.

Throw in the Storm monster pack and a brilliant coach who knew to instruct plenty of traffic at the Roosters pivot, and Keary’s efforts on Grand Final day become the stuff of legend.

He was handed the Clive Churchill medal in one of the easiest decisions you will ever seen made, and was this week handed a Kangaroo jersey his form so richly deserved.

Although originally overlooked for the man he bested on the last Saturday in September in Munster, Keary’s late call up capped off one of the best seasons we have seen from a player looking to establish himself.

SEE ALSO:  Cowboys set to sign Josh McGuire

After leaving the Bunnies in farcical circumstances, Keary signed for their most bitter of rivals and would represent the tri-colours for possibly the remainder of his career.

Keary’s talents in 2017 were such that the club allowed Mitchell Pearce, multiple time Origin representative and Premiership winner in his own right, to walk away rather than risk losing their new prized asset.

The Roosters’ number six was the difference against the Sharks, played beautifully against Souths, and was by far and away the standout on the biggest day of the rugby league calendar.

There can be little doubt that he is now the front runner for the 2019 number six jersey for the Blues. If he can stay fit and reclaim his 2018 form, it’s just a question of which Panthers half makes way to accommodate Keary.

Truthfully I believe Keary may already have two or three sky blue jumpers on his resume had he not originally stated he wanted to play for Queensland when his name was brought up.

Having now declared for New South Wales, there is no stopping the freakish 26-year-old.

If it sounds like I’m a big fan of Keary, that’s because I am. Unashamedly.

He was walked out of a club he help deliver the ultimate glory, a Premiership, in ridiculous and very public circumstances.

SEE ALSO:  Dufty to lift for the Dragons in 2019

He didn’t throw in the towel, or reach for the toys with intent to throw them out of the cot.

He got on with the job, secured a move to the Roosters and then played the game of his life on the biggest occasion of the 2018 season.

He now has a shiny medal with his name on it, a second premiership ring, and a green and gold jumper.

Keary also gave Trent Robinson yet another reason to smile for as well as Pearce played since his move to the Hunter, his decision to keep Keary and partner him with Cronk was proven to be 100% correct.

There was little more the pivot could do to reward his coach for his faith.

If anyone ever doubted the metal within the now two-time Premiership winner, that doubt was folded, torn to shreds then lit on fire by his performance on the final day of the season.

What an effort! What a season! What a player!

Ponga was monsterous in 2018. Ramien and Issako were huge.

Yet no player in 2018 saw their stock rise quite as much as the new Kangaroo’s number six Luke Keary.

20 COMMENTS

    • Another manly clown with foot in mouth syndrome .. bagged Keary all year πŸ˜†πŸ˜†
      You are an embarrassment to the whole ACT. πŸ˜‰

  1. Luke Keary showed tremendous talent when he played U20’s for Souths and blossomed into a top notch player when Souths won the 2014 Premiership. He even took a turn at hooker when Api got tired in the Grand Final.

    I don’t know what really happened with him and Russell Crowe but I am happy to see him go from strength to strength at the Roosters. He has great talent and always prepares himself well. Good luck to him for his future.

    • Yes chalky but he still does not have a decent kicking game or the ability to organise a team and lead them around the field. The Roosters had to play a busted Cooper Cronk as a passenger to organise and lead the team otherwise the Roosters would have struggled and they knew it. The fact that Cronk played basically the role of an on-field coach just proves that the Roosters realise that Keary is a running 5/8 and not an organiser otherwise they would not have made such a desperate gamble. Sure, Keary was forced to take over the kicking role for Cronk in the GF because he was incapacitated but it was adequate at best and hardly up to the standard of Cronk, Adam Reynolds or Thurston.

      I agree though that Keary had a blinder in the GF and deserved the Clive Churchill medal although for guts and for the influence he had on the game it would have been better to see the award given to Cronk.

      Certainly though Keary’s defence has improved since going to the Roosters and his confidence playing outside of Cronk has gone up a gear after already improving outside Pearce last year. Just the same, IMO when Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker click (which was a lot this year) there is no better halves pairing in the NRL (and that includes Cleary and Maloney or Cronk and Keary).

    • Give me a break, the Roosters import all their rep players from other clubs like the Rabbitohs (Luke Keary and Angus Crichton), the Tigers (Tedesco) and the Storm (Cronk)…

      And by import I mean $$$$’s πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° over the salary cap!
      Bahahahahahahahahaha πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Congrats, you guys just bought another premiership just like in 2013 when you were millions over the salary cap again! Meanwhile clubs get busted for being $300K – $700K over the cap while the Roosters are so far over the cap it’s off the NRL’s radar!

      Just so you realise, ALL supporters of the other 15 clubs KNOW what your club is doing and none of us count your last two bogus (paid for) premierships in 2013 and 2018 as legitimate and neither do we recognise them. They are in the same category as the stripped Melbourne Storm premierships of 2007 and 2009.

      It’s pathetic really, just like the dad (aka Nick Politis) that buys his under achieving kid (aka the Roosters) a trophy (aka the NRL trophy). At least Souths got all their 21 premierships by playing within the rules, so sad you guys have to resort to buying yours to try to catch up.

      • @ Sonda07

        Salty? Perhaps a little. It’s all the peanuts they give you at the pub to build up your thirst!

        As for following a better team, well perhaps you can enlighten me, WHICH team do YOU go for? Don’t just shoot in the dark mate. Nail your colours to the mast.

        As for there being a BETTER club than the Rabbitohs… well hardly. By any reasonable measure they at the very top of every other club.

        Most premierships: 21 (Rabbitohs)
        (Dragons: 15, Eastern Suburbs Roosters: 13, Sydney Roosters: 1)

        * Sydney Roosters premierships in 2013 and 2018 stripped by Reg for being over the salary cap!

        NOTE: the Rabbitohs 21 premiership is equal to the Bulldogs, Sea Eagles and Broncos COMBINED!
        The Broncos bogus SL premiership does NOT count!

        Most GF Appearances: 34 (Rabbitohs)

        Most Minor premierships: 17 (Rabbitohs)
        (Dragons: 15, Eastern Suburbs Roosters: 11, Sydney Roosters: 1)

        * Sydney Roosters MPs in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 stripped by Reg for being over the salary cap!

        Most times Runners-Up: 13 (Rabbitohs and Dragons tied)

        So, how does YOUR club compare with that? Be honest.

  2. As usual Nicholls you miss the bleedingly obvious. Keary had a decent season and a great grand final but the breakout star of 2018 was Latrell Mitchell. I’m surprised you didn’t try and tell us it was Paul Gallen.

    • You got that right brissydragon. Or did Keary get picked for the first time this year to place origin for the Blues and was close to the best on field in each game? No wait, that was Latrell Mitchell.

  3. So after Madge, Cartwright and Taylor knocked Manly back, they are getting Des back!
    LOL.
    I don’t know what’s funnier.
    Taylor knocking them back to coach a reserve grade team or getting Des back. LOL
    Des left Manly’s salary cap a mess with back ended deals and then did the same to the Dogs.
    Now he will go back and do the same to manly again. LOL
    LOL@Manlythejokethatkeepsongiving.

    Oh and Keary is awesome and should have been in the team ahead of Dud Evans and Hunt.

    • That’s right kevy boy des hasler is incoming and the rest of the NRL fears his return. 2 premierships 3 gfs buddy top 8 10 years in a row while we bashed the doldrums eels LOL enjoy your bush coach spooner its actually pretty funny how your team is the worst team in the last 15 years while Manly has been the best LOL 54 nil dont forget it little goy

    • Fake News Kev. Straight from Lyall Gorman, Manly NEVER approached (or considered approaching) either Taylor or Henry and the offer to Madge was taken off the table BY Manly after Madge insisted on being able to continue coaching the Kiwis national team in addition to coaching Manly.

      Are you just trying to “throw shade” on Manly to take the attention away from the Eels record breaking 14th wooden spoon? Or is it to distract everyone from the fact that your great coaching hope Brad Arthur is a lemon? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      • In fairness Kev has been 1 of the harshest critics of Parra, and BA in particular, so I don’t think his comments were designed to take the heat of us. That said, Kev is very much a glass half empty man, and what’s actually left in the glass is lemon (the sour), lime and very bitters, with added salt.

        I know I’ll cop some serious grief for this comment, but I’m still backing BA.
        He all but single handedly run the club, and kept it together through 2016, and retained the loyalty of our core playing group through a very tough year.
        We overachieved, based on our roster, in 2017 by making it to top 4.
        2018, and we get the spoon with a very similar roster to 2017. Obviously a lot went wrong in 2018, with combos, underperforming players etc. and BA has to wear some of that, maybe a lot of that, but I’m still backing him to fix it for 2019.
        At the very least, IF 2019 shows BA is not a FG coach (and I don’t think it will, but if it does), we should find another role at the club for BA, because he has some extraordinary management skills.

        • Mighty, I appreciate loyalty but BA has reached the end of his rope and he is holding the noose, surely? For a start he was working with a handicap trying to coach a side with two players (Norman and Moses) whose inflated egos don’t match the actual talent they possess. In any case, how many years does BA get before the Eels fans finally realise he is a dud. Perhaps, just like Jason Taylor, he looks good on paper but he just isn’t cut out to be a first grade coach?

          What about the Eels making a play for Madge mighty? He got Souths a premiership when everything looked hopeless so he could be just the man to turn things around. Perhaps then BA could put his extraordinary management skills to better use passing water bottles to the boys on the field? Have you seen how many water bottles they have to carry at once? It looks taxing.
          πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        • A lot of Parra supporters have already given up on BA.
          We obviously had issues with a small group of our players, which I’m sure we’re resolve very soon.
          I think / hope we can put this year behind us, and that may well involve us moving a couple of players on.
          I like, and rate Madge, but we have BA.

  4. Unrelated question.
    Does anyone know if the “Junior Test Match” is televised anywhere?
    Looks like the other two (Women’s and Seniors) are on Fox Sports.
    Can’t find the “Juniors” though.
    Thanks.

  5. Mighty, I appreciate loyalty but BA has reached the end of his rope and he is holding the noose, surely? For a start he was working with a handicap trying to coach a side with two players (Norman and Moses) whose inflated egos don’t match the actual talent they possess. In any case, how many years does BA get before the Eels fans finally realise he is a dud. Perhaps, just like Jason Taylor, he looks good on paper but he just isn’t cut out to be a first grade coach?

    What about the Eels making a play for Madge mighty? He got Souths a premiership when everything looked hopeless so he could be just the man to turn things around. Perhaps then BA could put his extraordinary management skills to better use passing water bottles to the boys on the field? Have you seen how many water bottles they have to carry at once? It looks taxing.
    πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Comments are closed.