The Dragons partied long into the night at St George Leagues Club where they celebrated the joint-venture’s maiden premiership victory, but the team will front up at WIN Stadium to continue the party with their fans – with Clive Churchill medal winner Darius Boyd sure to be among the favourites.
For long suffering St George fans the 32-8 win ended a 31-year wait for a taste of success – and things could get even better, with the Australia Four Nations squad to be announced at 11.30am on Monday.
Among those in contention for green and gold jerseys are Boyd, incumbent winger Brett Morris, grand final standout Ben Creagh, five-eighth Jamie Soward and centres Mark Gasnier and Matt Cooper.
“I’m so happy for these guys,” glowed coach Wayne Bennett after the Sunday night demolition.
“There’s five of them here that have been through some horrific times and they didn’t know when it was going to come.
“I didn’t walk into a club that was a basket case … I just helped them get where they wanted to go and they deserve it and we don’t have to worry about all the rubbish we read about going forward.”
Several Roosters are expected to also gain selection into the Australian squad to offer some consolation for the hurt of a grand final defeat.
Halves Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce are certain to be considered to partner Darren Lockyer, while Queensland enforcer Nate Myles is another who can expect to hear his name called out.
Roosters skipper Braith Anasta was effusive in his praise for Dally M medal winner, and likely Kangaroo representative, Todd Carney after the match.
“Toddy’s been inspirational for everyone, everyone at the club, he’s got us to where we are now,” Anasta said.
“He’s had such a great year on and off the field and he should be proud of himself I know we’re proud of him and he’s been a credit to the Roosters and I love the bloke.”
New Zealanders Jason Nightingale and Jeremy Smith are also favoured to gain selection for the Four Nations tournament, alongside Roosters Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Sam Perrett, Frank-Paul Nuuasuala and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, with the Kiwi squad to be announced on Tuesday.