Grand final fan Crichton is living the dream

This may be Angus Crichton's first grand final as a player, but he's an officiando as a fan.

And it's made for interesting conversation around the Roosters lunch table this week.

You see Crichton was in the ANZ Stadium stands in 2014 to watch South Sydney – seated just two rows from Brett Morris, then still a Dragon, who was there to watch twin brother Josh in the Bulldogs back line.

"I was actually at the game ... and I got a selfie with him before the game ... pretty crazy isn't it considering where we'll be on Sunday," Crichton said.

As a vital cog in the Roosters back row, Crichton will be back at ANZ Stadium, with Morris, to face the Canberra Raiders.

"Obviously a NRL grand final is something as a fan and as a player you want to be in. I've been watching [grand finals] since I was a little kid and always wanted to be out there. I went to a few Roosters ones when I was younger because I was a Roosters fan back then.

 
 
 
 
 
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Grand final time with the boys

A post shared by Angus Crichton (@anguscrichton) on

"I guess now I've got the opportunity it's time to shape up and get ready."

Crichton was still in high school when the Rabbitohs won in 2014, but he was with their feeder team the North Sydney Bears in 2015 and made his NRL debut for the Redfern club in 2016. He switched over to the Roosters this year after three seasons with Souths.

And his links with the Tricolours go way back.  

Match: Roosters v Raiders

Grand Final -

Full Time
Roosters

Home Team

Roosters

Scored 14 points
Raiders

Away Team

Raiders

Scored 8 points

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Match broadcasters:

  • Nine Network

"I can't remember if it was the '02 or '04 grand final but I remember getting the bus back to Easts Leagues Club. I was waiting out the front with my old man because they wouldn't let me in – I would have been six or eight years old," Crichton recalled.

"I kept telling Dad to go in and I'd wait for him ... but my godfather went in and got Craig Fitzgibbon's signature on a coaster for me. I kept that in my room all through primary school."

And there's another interesting conversation as Fitzgibbon – the champion Roosters back-rower and goal-kicker and Clive Churchill Medallist (2002) – is now assistant NRL coach at the club.

Crichton got tickets to the Cowboys' win in 2015 when Matt King, former Storm and Souths player on the Rabbitohs staff after retiring a year earlier, took the starry-eyed youngster to the decider.

"That's a big part of why this club is so special. Everyone from the water boys to the players in the squad, to the staff in the office, the photographers, the managers ... everyone is on the same page at this great club. It really is like a family," Crichton said.

He could be invited to the Kangaroos family as Test coach Mal Meninga is a big admirer of the 23-year-old's ability to play left and right side.

"I guess when Boydo [Boyd Cordner] went down [injured] I had to fill his spot and take on that role. For me playing left or playing right doesn't bother me as long as I'm on the field, especially in this side."

On getting back into a rep jumper after just one match for the NSW Origin team this year, Crichton is keeping fingers crossed but putting his energy elsewhere this week.

"Obviously it is something that comes off the back of playing good footy for your club. So for me personally it's not something I'll focus on – I've got the biggest game of my life on the weekend."

Crichton says he's been sleeping well and not feeling nervous.

"I don't want to waste energy on nerves and especially coming off the bench ... I remember in Origin when I had to come off the bench I had to really learn to calm my nerves.

"It's about being confident in the work you've done. There's no point stressing."

And he's learned to cope with disappointment, as well as nerves, after being dropped from the Blues.

"It's football but it's the sort of thing that builds you as a person; it builds character and assures you of the kind of guy you want to be – how you act and continue to  go about your business.

"It was challenging times but from where I stand right now, it makes those challenges even sweeter."

Tickets for the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final 2019 are now on sale to the general public.

Tickets are available through Ticketek and nrl.com/tickets.