YESTERDAY, Orange’s Daniel Mortimer was enjoying his first mad Monday with an NRL premiership ring on his finger.
Mortimer came off the bench in the Sydney Roosters’ 26-18 grand final win over Manly on Sunday night.
“Best day of my life,” Mortimer beamed.
The 24-year-old utility player admitted it took a while for the team’s success to sink in.
“It was weird sitting there,” he said.
“It has been such a surreal year. Then to look at that ring on my hand and it’s real and I’m thinking, ‘How did that get there?’
“I’ve had it on all night. It’s not coming off any time soon.”
The Roosters were up 8-6 at the grand final break and Mortimer had almost 20 minutes on the field at the start of the second half.
By the time he came off Manly had put on 12 unanswered points to lead 18-8, despite the utility putting in a solid performance.
“It was a nervous wait on the bench,” he said.
“The boys scored a couple of the best tries I’ve seen in a grand final. When Michael Jennings scored that try, I was nearly in tears. I was sitting there with Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Luke O’Donnell, two old souls who I dearly love, it was a special moment.”
The Roosters’ grand final victory handed the club its 13th premiership, but the first in 11 years.
Adding to the occasion, Mortimer’s brothers, Michael, James, Tim and Robbie, and parents, Peter and Julie, were there to share in the victory.
Peter Mortimer is no stranger to success on the big stage having won three premierships with Canterbury (1980, 1984, 1985) and losing two grand finals (1979, 1986).
However, Peter doesn’t have a premiership ring like his son.
“He’s got premiership medals. They didn’t give out rings then,” Daniel said.
“He was in the sheds after the game. I went straight up to him and we shared a hug. It was a special moment.”
Daniel was enjoying the celebrations yesterday and they will continue tomorrow with the club’s presentation night.
He’ll then take a well-earned break before the Roosters’ pre-season starts around December.