Mortimer's grand final record not great - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortimer's grand final record not great

By Steve Jancetic 01/10/2009 07:51:32 PM Comments (0)

With seven losses from his first seven grand finals, you can understand why Parramatta rookie Daniel Mortimer would be feeling a touch apprehensive ahead of Sunday's NRL decider.

"Growing up with Orange CYMS we always got done - all seven grand finals," Mortimer said of his childhood team in western NSW.

Mortimer revealed the alarming statistic at Thursday's grand final breakfast, to the surprise of some of his teammates.

"I haven't told too many people, it's not something I'm proud of," he said.

"I actually won the SG Ball one with Parramatta so maybe Parramatta is my lucky charm."

There would be plenty of Parramatta fans arguing that the 20-year-old had become their lucky charm.

The young playmaker's elevation to the NRL was one of the catalysts for the club's mid-season turnaround at a time when the club looked headed for the wooden spoon.

While fullback Jarryd Hayne has attracted much of the plaudits for Parramatta's revival, Mortimer's role can not be underestimated.

He has added a spark to the halves that wasn't there earlier in the year, and has done it all while carrying the burden of one of the most famous surnames in the sport, with his father and uncles all Bulldogs legends.

But if the youngest player in Sunday's grand final against Melbourne was feeling the nerves, he wasn't showing it at Thursday's grand final breakfast.

"It's important not to overplay it in your head before (the game)," Mortimer said.

"I've been pretty relaxed this week and a lot of the other players have helped."

One player who inadvertently helped Mortimer get to where he is Melbourne rival Brett Finch, for it was Finch's departure from the club at the start of the season which opened up an opportunity for the young playmaker.

Before that, Mortimer admits he used to pick Finch's brains during training sessions, not knowing that they would go head-to-head in a grand final.

"He calls himself an Origin great so I've learnt from the best there," Mortimer joked.

"He's been really good - he packed up and left which was even better for me."

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