Who do you consider to be our best Grand Final wingers ?
- Alan McIndoe
- Paul Smith
- Graham Mackay
- Luke Lewis
- Luke Rooney
- Josh Mansour
- Brian To’o
Who do you consider to be our best Grand Final wingers ?
An Emerald, Queensland junior, was graded with Illawarra in 1983, he played 73 games over 6 seasons, scoring 38 tries.
Picked up by the Panthers for the 1989-90 seasons, he played 37 games, including the 1990 Grand Final, scoring 26 tries.
Following the Grand Final loss, he returned to the Steelers, playing a further 53 games in 3 seasons, scoring 27 tries.
Alan represented Queensland on 9 occasions, scoring 3 tries, as well as making 1 appearance for Australia.
A product of Ashcroft High School, was graded with Penrith in 1987, where he would play 78 games over 7 seasons, including the 1990 & 1991 Grand Finals. He scored 27 tries for the Panthers, including 1 in the 1990 Grand Final loss.
In 1994 he moved to the Wests Magpies, where he would play 41 games over 4 seasons, scoring 22 tries,
He represented City in 1991, scoring 1 try.
A Rugby Union player in high school, he was graded by Wests Magpies in 1988, where he would play 47 games over 3 seasons, scoring 16 tries & kicking 19 goals.
Recruited by the Panthers in 1991, he would go on to play 82 games over 4 seasons, including the 1991 Grand Final, scoring 43 tries & kicking 41 goals.
He spent 1995 at the Roosters, playing 13 games, scoring 7 tries & kicking 20 goals.
In 1996 he was at the South Queensland Crushers, playing 8 games, scoring 2 tries & kicking 9 goals.
In 1997 he moved to the Gold Coast Chargers, playing 43 games in 2 seasons, scoring 15 tries & kicking 42 goals.
He finished his Australian career with a season at Manly in 1999, playing 8 games, scoring 1 try & kicking 2 goals.
In 2000 he moved to England, playing 18 games in his only season for Leeds, scoring 10 tries & kicking 2 goals.
In 2001 he moved to Bradford, playing 17 games & scoring 17 tries.
His final season was with Hull FC, where he made 26 appearances, scoring 18 tries & kicking 19 goals.
A NSW representative on 4 occasions, kicking 1 goal.
He represented Australia on 1 occasion in 1992, scoring 1 try & kicking 2 goals.
He also represented Scotland once in 2000, kicking a goal.
A Blacktown City junior, making his debut in 2001 & playing 208 games over 12 seasons for Penrith, including the 2003 Grand Final, scoring 89 tries.
In 2013 he moved to Cronulla, playing 116 games over 6 seasons, including the 2016 Grand Final (where he was the Clive Churchill medallist), scoring 33 tries.
He represented City Origin on 5 occasions, scoring 2 tries.
He played 17 games for NSW, scoring once.
He represented Australia 16 times, scoring 6 tries.
He was a member of the NRL All Stars team in 2012, scoring once.
A versatile player, who played every position at some stage during his illustrious career.
An Emu Plains junior, he made his debut for Panthers in 2001, where he would play 140 games over 8 seasons, including the 2003 Grand Final. He scored 65 tries for the Panthers, including a memorable double in the 2003 Grand Final.
He represented City Origin on 3 occasions, scoring once.
A NSW representative on 5 occasions, scoring 3 tries.
An Australian representative on 6 occasions, scoring 6 tries.
In 2009, Rooney switched to union.
A Kingsgrove Colts junior, in the Canterbury-Bankstown junior league, he played lower grades with the Bulldogs & Souths, but was unable to crack first grade at either club.
Recruited by Panthers in 2012, he has played 158 games so far, including the 2020 Grand Final. He has scored 74 tries so far, including 1 in the 2020 Grand Final.
In 2009 he represented Lebanon 3 times in the European Cup, scoring 3 tries.
He has played for Australia 7 times, scoring 3 tries.
A member of the Prime Ministers XIII in 2014, where he scored once.
He represented City Origin in 2016, scoring once.
He played all 3 games for NSW in 2016.
A St Mary’s junior, he made his first grade debut in 2019. He has played 31 games so far, including the 2020 Grand Final, scoring 17 tries, including one in the Grand Final.
In 2019 he represented Samoa in one test & four 9’s matches, scoring twice.
The wing positions are probably the most open race for spots in the backline of our Greatest Grand Final Team, with most players staking reasonable claims to the position.
Ironically Smith, the only winger to appear in 2 Grand Finals for us, is the one I remember the least about. Although most of my memories of McIndoe are in Steelers or Queensland jerseys.
Mackay was a barnstorming winger, who always returned the ball strong, and could easily match it with the forwards.
The 2 Luke’s were lethal in our 2003 premiership team, forming a great combination at the back with Wesser.
Mansour started to show some form again this year, after a couple of lacklustre seasons.
To’o is a classy ball of energy, who regularly punches above his weight.
I went with Paul Smith and Sauce, both very competent and put their hand up to return kicks at every opportunity.
Paul Smith was prepared to “winger in” back in the good old days of ‘wingers are just people that hang around footy players’ lol
I think Tóo is unlucky not to be in my picks, just not enough big game experience.
I would go with McKay and Mansour. I think at their best, they would be the best pairing. To’o I just haven’t seen enough of. Luke Lewis a close runner up.
I knew I was going to regret embarking on this project. It is too hard, so many memories of joy and disappointment of my second family, the Panthers. It is like choosing your favourite child!
I’m going with Luke Lewis & Josh Mansour. I think they are the best players over their careers of the options & epitomise what is is to be a Panther.
After the '03 G/F I bought the watch & autographed program at auction - of Luke Rooney, so it was hard to leave him out.
Next week centres - oh that’s going to be so much easier
Hard choice. I’ll go with Mackay & Rooney. I remember Mackay, he was a huge bloke who gave other wingers nightmares. Plus, he was a goal-kicker (although you wouldn’t want him kicking for your life, he wasn’t exactly Darryl Halligan!)
Tough to leave Mansour out, but these are GF wingers, and Rooney scored a double in the 03 GF. You can’t ask more than that.
I was never a fan of Mackay, yes on his day he could beat teams on his own, BUT that was generally the lightweight teams who he dominated. I would consider him the Luke Walsh of Wingers, brilliant on his day when he gets his own way, but didn’t get near the real tough stuff.
Paul Smith on the other hand, IMO would stick his head between Peter Kelly and Les Davidson just for the experience
stick his head b’tween Kelly & Davidson he may not live to tell the tale.