FOR the early part of Friday night’s preliminary final against South Sydney, Bathurst rugby league product George Rose must have been contemplating a disappointing end to his time with the Manly Sea Eagles.
However, by the end of it the big prop they call Gorgeous George had his spirits raised so much he was able to joke about scoring a length of the field try in Sunday’s NRL grand final as part of his farewell.
With this season being his last at the Sea Eagles before linking with the Melbourne Storm on a one-year contract, Rose’s hopes of leaving Brookvale with a second premiership to his credit are still alive.
His Sea Eagles fought back from a 14-0 deficit to beat the Rabbitohs 30-20 and set up a grand final showdown with the Roosters.
The 116 kilogram, 188 centimetre prop has gained a cult following since linking with the Sea Eagles in 2006 and it was with them that he got his first taste of premiership glory in 2011.
After that win against the Warriors it was hard to wipe the smile off Rose’s face and he would dearly love to experience that feeling once more.
“Apart from a win, a length of the field try would be nice - I don’t think that will ever happen - so I will just settle for a win. I will be happy to win next Sunday, I would love to win,” Rose said when asked how he would like to end his time with Manly.
In the opening stages of Friday’s clash with the Rabbitohs Rose was not in a joking mood, South Sydney flying out of the blocks to grab the early advantage.
But by the time Rose was injected into the match in the 28th minute after Richard Fa’aoso left the field due to injury, Manly had settled into their stride.
He was given another run in the dying minutes by coach Geoff Toovey, the 10-point win moving Rose and his team-mates within reach of the premiership.
“I think the thing with this is that I just want to enjoy every moment on the field with the boys, I am not taking anything for granted,” Rose said.
“If it was going to be my last game I wanted to enjoy every minute of it. I even wanted to score a try, but I couldn’t get there.
“I just wanted to try and roll it down, but he [Inglis] is just too strong, he rolled me back over and then laughed at me as he done it.”
From the 27 minutes of game time that Rose got, he made 95 metres from 10 hit ups and made eight tackles.