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Walker reveals journey from axing, season ending diagnosis to finals hero

Sydney Roosters halfback Sam Walker feared his season was over four months ago but is now dreaming of premiership glory after capping a stunning comeback with a match winning field goal at the place his career hit rock bottom.

Walker was dropped after the Round 7 clash with the Sharks but returned to PointsBet Stadium to lift the injury hit Roosters to a dramatic 13-12 win in Saturday night’s elimination final in just his third NRL appearance since being recalled.

In between, the 21-year-old playmaker suffered a partially torn ACL playing NSW Cup and he was told he would need season ending surgery.

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“There was a stage there where we weren't too sure what was going to happen,” Walker said.

“There were a few different opinions, and we were trying to line them all up and see which path we wanted to go down.

“Credit to our medical staff, they have been awesome for me and I would barely have been able to get on the field without what they do for me.

“I had full faith in them and when I was back running, and starting to feel confident again, it was really nice feeling.”

So was kicking the 20-metre field goal that sealed one of the gutsiest wins in the club’s history and set up another sudden-death encounter with the Storm at AAMI Park on Friday night.

The Bondi Blockers

Like Walker’s season, the chances of the Roosters playing in September had been largely written off, but they never gave up hope.

“It's good to kick a field goal to win the game, but we have got a long way to go,” Walker said. “It’s the first round of finals and we want to be there at the end of September.

“It's obviously a better feeling when you get a win and last time that I was here was my last game in first grade before I got dropped and hurt my knee, so I wanted to prove a point.

“It was part of the journey, and we are one step closer.”

Walker said the 12-week injury lay-off and four matches in the NSW Cup had enabled him to work on what he needed to improve when he returned to the playmaking role for the Roosters.

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“I think after being dropped, I understood what my role on the team was and I have to step up and do that,” Walker said.

“Even after getting dropped, I was clear and I always knew how I wanted to play. I just had to get back to doing what I do well.

“I had a bit of time to think and process it all and I'm just stoked to be back playing NRL and playing in the final series.”

Walker suffered an ankle injury in the second half and was unable to take the conversion after Siua Wong scored in the 68th minute but he still managed to step up to kick the match winning field goal and will be fit to play the Storm.

“I just rolled my ankle a little bit. I’d be walking and it would just give way a little bit,” he said.

“I was a bit worried about running into a goal kick and having to pull out the last second or something like that, but with the field goal you’re so focused on what you have to do, and it was clear what I had to do.

“It probably hit more on my shin than my foot, but it still went over the post.

“The Storm will be similar to us, they have come up with a few injuries … but we have the confidence to win now and we are going to roll with that.

“We've been playing finals footy for five or six weeks now, so not much has changed for us in what we have to do and how we have to play footy. This is another step.”

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.