Mat Rogers eyes fairytale finish to NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mat Rogers eyes fairytale finish to NRL

By Jim Morton 16/08/2010 04:48:07 PM Comments (0)

Mat Rogers has confidently backed the Gold Coast Titans to deliver a fairytale end to his glittering career with a first NRL title.

The dual international on Monday announced his retirement from football after 16 seasons at the top of both rugby league and union at a time when he's enjoyed strong form for the resurgent Titans.

If the second-placed Titans continue current form Rogers would be on track to bow out by notching his 200-game NRL milestone in the grand final on October 3.

It would give him the chance to finally secure the title glory that has eluded him in rugby league with Cronulla and the Titans and in rugby with the NSW Waratahs, not to mention the 2003 Rugby World Cup final.

"I think the best is yet to come," said 34-year-old Rogers.

"I've had some great moments over my career, league before I went to union and union, but I think the career highlight hasn't happened yet.

"I think we can do it and it would be a great way to finish."

After deciding his battle-scarred, heavily-inked body wasn't up to the rigours of one more year, Rogers stressed his career had already given him more than he could have hoped.

"I've been blessed - I feel like I've had three careers," the 45-Test former Wallaby said.

"Although I haven't won a premiership yet I feel I've been fulfilled in every one of them and had a really good time.

"I got to the (1997 Super League) grand final with the Sharks, I got into the (2005 Super 12) final with the Waratahs and played in a World Cup final in rugby union and won a Rugby League World Cup.

"Now to come to the Titans here has been amazing.

"It doesn't get any better, I couldn't have scripted it."

The son of Cronulla great Steve Rogers, the classy utility back looked back at the Sharks' 1999 minor premiership side as among the most special he'd played with.

"The '99 season I will never forget it, we should have won the comp that year and we didn't and it still haunts me," he said.

"There's potential for this year to haunt me too because I think we've got the team to do it as well, so let's hope it doesn't."

The man he's replaced at five-eighth in the Titans' four-game winning streak, Greg Bird, certainly believes Rogers will receive a fitting farewell.

"It's a shame he's probably played at the only two clubs never to have won a grand final but, hopefully, I think this is one of the best chances he'll have," said Bird.

NSW Origin star Bird admitted he was resigned to working his way back from a hamstring strain through the bench and forward pack due to Rogers' efforts at No.6.

"The last four games have silenced the critics and shown that if his body was up to it he could go around again. It's not to be and it's disappointing for the side," he said.

Despite his current form and his teammates pleadings, Rogers felt he still lacked an inch of zip and revealed the last month had made his decision easier.

"If ever I knew the decision was right it was on Friday morning," he said.

"We had a perfect GC day (but) as soon as I started running I thought 'oh my knees hurt, my back hurt, my shoulders hurt'.

"For a game adrenaline gets you through that but you can't play at the level the NRL requires if you can't train to the level the game requires."

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