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Winning 2019 title much tougher than last year: Manu

Roosters centre Joey Manu says winning this year's grand final was an even bigger and tougher task than winning it in 2018.

The first team in more than a quarter of a century to go back-to-back, Manu said going through the year with a target on them as premiers coupled with a far worse injury toll than in 2018 made this year's triumph even sweeter.

"It was harder than last year; every team hunted us, every team wanted to beat us," Manu said.

"It was tough, it's definitely been the toughest year. Injuries, everything. We still believed in what we can do, there are so many good individuals that make up a great team.

"We always believed in ourselves no matter what happened, we always knew we weren't going to get distracted."

Manu appeared to injure his shoulder early in the 14-8 win before playing on but said it was just a case of landing on his hand and there were no lingering ill-effects from what he said was the toughest game of the season.

"Yeah, it's sweet it was just my hand. It feels good when you win!" he laughed, adding he was in no doubt for the end-of-season representative games if selected.

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"Hopefully. I'm a proud Kiwi so whenever I get the opportunity to represent I do my best. If I get there I'm excited and ready to go again."

Manu is becoming notorious for bringing his best footy in the big end-of-season matches, though the enormity of winning two Telstra Premiership titles by age 22 had not yet sunk in.

"I think it's just getting excited heading into finals. I like being in these big games on the big stages. I think it's having confidence in the players inside and outside me. I just believe in myself," he said.

"I think that's what you want to do as a player is keep winning and that's probably the best thing about it for me.

"My main sporting goal in life is being the best person I can be not just on the field but off the field, helping the other guys, being the best person I can be."

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.