Paea sings despite Roosters loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Paea sings despite Roosters loss

By Ben Horne 03/10/2010 10:31:02 PM Comments (0)

Lopini Paea is feeling the lowest he's ever felt after an NRL match, but the Sydney Roosters forward said he'd rather go through that emotional trauma than not to have played in a grand final at all.

The nine-year Rooster had managed just one first-grade match since round 10, but was surprisingly thrown in the deep end by coach Brian Smith on the game's biggest stage.

Paea has been the team's 18th man through the finals and his selection was kept secret until hours before kick-off.

Smith told Paea on Tuesday that he wanted him in the team and on Saturday informed him he'd be running out to start.

While he was sharing his team-mates' pain, Paea was grateful for the opportunity as he departs the Roosters for English Super League club Catalans in 2011.

"I'm so happy, I'm just happy to be out there, I was just happy to be part of the 17 then he told me yesterday I was starting so I've gone from zero to straight back up," Paea said.

"I played a Flegg grand final, a Premier League grand final and know I've played a first grade so just unfortunate we couldn't get away with the win."

Despite playing in the NRL just 11 times this year, Paea said he wasn't concerned about his match-fitness - and instead grew an extra leg because of the confidence shown in him by Smith.

Swear-words used to dominate the Roosters old team song so Paea was the author of the new tune which the players have been singing raucously over recent weeks.

His absence from the team was no barrier to the selfless Paea leading the song each and every week.

Paea said his lyrics are a nice legacy to leave behind, but declared he'd love to return to Bondi Junction one day.

"You don't want to be selfish and make it all about you, you're part of the team and the boys make you feel part of the team and them singing the song is their way of including me in it," he said.

"I think Sammy Perrett is going to have to lead it next year because he's the only one who knows the words because he wrote it with me! If they get rid of Sammy I don't think they'll have a victory song."

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