Roosters skipper Anthony Minichiello raises the premiership trophy in 2013.

After 11 years in the NRL premiership wilderness, the Sydney Roosters were finally alone at the top after downing the Manly Sea Eagles 26-18 in 2013.

Inspired by sensational individual performances from James Maloney and Sonny Bill-Williams, the Roosters twice came from behind to secure the game's biggest prize.

Not many expected the Roosters to challenge for the title so quickly after so many new additions to their side at the start of the season.

However, the Tricolours showed amazing composure under pressure to turn around an 18-8 deficit with 20 minutes remaining with Michael Jennings athletic work chasing a kick sealing the club's 13th premiership.

Sonny Bill Williams celebrates the Roosters' 2013 grand final win with fans.
Sonny Bill Williams celebrates the Roosters' 2013 grand final win with fans. ©NRL Photos

Best player

The 2013 grand final was only the third time the Clive Churchill Medallist came from the losing side. However, Daly Cherry-Evans got Manly back into the game early in the second half, recording two line-breaks and guiding the side around well despite the final result not going the Sea Eagles' way.

Unsung hero

James Maloney laid on the first try for the Roosters with a sensational cross-field kick, set-up Shaun-Kenny Dowall's try and laid on the grubber for Michael Jennings try which sealed the game for the Tricolours. Maloney was also accurate with the boot, kicking four from four in a sensational individual effort for the Roosters. 

James Maloney makes a break for the Roosters in 2013.
James Maloney makes a break for the Roosters in 2013. ©NRL Photos

Play of the day

This honour could be shared between Daniel Tupou's high-flying four-pointer or Michael Jennings' sensational athletic effort to score and seal the game, touching down inches inside the dead-ball line.

What-if moment

In the 68th minute, after Manly enjoyed a mountain of possession, David Williams failed to grasp a Jamie Lyon pass close to the line and spilled the ball over the sideline. Five minutes later Sonny Bill Williams busted a hole through the Sea Eagles defence to help set up a Daniel Tupou try that all but decided the result.

Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans in the 2013 grand final.
Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans in the 2013 grand final. ©NRL Photos

The quote

"It was a very bittersweet moment. I'd definitely swap that for a premiership win. The stereotype is for the medal winner to be from the winning side, so it was a very surprising moment," Daly Cherry-Evans after being named the Clive Churchill Medallist.

Kieran Foran in action in the 2013 grand final.
Kieran Foran in action in the 2013 grand final. ©NRL Photos

The year after

The Sydney Roosters weren't able to make it back-to-back titles, after a Jamie Soward field goal knocked them out of the running in the first week of the finals, as they went down to the Penrith Panthers 19-18. Manly also did not fare well either, being thumped 40-24 in week one of the post-season by eventual premiers South Sydney.