When great players make a last-minute return for a grand final, there is always a victim, someone who misses out. Last year, when Cooper Cronk decided to play through injury in the big one at ANZ Stadium, Lindsay Collins was cut. This year, when Jake Friend was cleared to play, Zane Tetevano’s name was called.
However, Tetevano, who only missed two games this year, still ended up with a ring.
Much like he did for Collins last year, Roosters coach Trent Robinson gifted his premiership ring to Tetevano on the ANZ turf well after midnight last night.
Tetevano’s daughter travelled from New Zealand to watch the game, but the prop said he didn’t mind sitting out.
“It was nerve-racking watching, but I can’t be happier. It was scary. It was a tough game, a street fight. There was a lot of live ball footy and the boys turned up well.
“It was about making sure everyone was fit and healthy and ready to play. It was at training and we were just making sure Jakey was ready to play and he was ready to play tonight. As you saw he played over 30 minutes and he delivered.”
Tetevano is the only key Rooster to still be unsigned for next year and with each passing day, the chances of him being a part of the hunt for a three-peat becomes less and less likely.
That said, the Kiwi is still keen to work something out so he can return to the club.
“I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do,” Tetevano said after the match.
“I’m keen for a break and I’ll keep training in the off-season and working on my craft so when I come back I’m ready to rock’n’roll.
“It’s a great club and Robbo is the best coach in the world, but I’ve got to work hard. I’m looking forward to whatever happens next year.”