James Tedesco says the Roosters' controversial grand final win came even though "everything was against us".
Ricky Stuart, Raiders players and fans alike may have something to say about that considering Tedesco scored the match winner after one of the most controversial refereeing decisions in the history of the NRL.
But the Dally M Medallist pointed to the Roosters' defence with Cooper Cronk in the bin as the period which won the tri-colours their second premiership in as many years.
"Everything was against us," Tedesco said on Nine post match.
"Cooper getting sent to the bin in his last game... but we have a winning culture.
"We have a winning culture and we fought for the full 80.
"We just had to defend our line as best we could.
"We spoke about that our whole year - digging deep and giving our best performance and we did that in the second half."
A hoarse Cronk said after Sunday night's match he was ready for retirement after 16 seasons and 372 games.
"I've been blessed to be able to play this game. It's a humbling experience to be able to live out a dream and have some success but I'm ready for retirement," Cronk told former Melbourne teammate Billy Slater in an interview with the Nine Network.
I'm not here to criticise the referee but I didn't think it was a sin-bin offence.Cooper Cronk
"I've been involved with some good players and some good clubs and I just jumped on the back of that.
"It's been one hell of a journey, one hell of a ride and I'm glad it's over."
Cronk said he didn't think he should have been sin-binned for the Papalii tackle, which was a try-saver, with the rampaging prop just metres from the line.
"I'm not here to criticise the referee but I didn't think it was a sin-bin offence," Cronk said.
"It took heart and soul for this football club to defend for that time and counter that by scoring points when I got back."
Jack Wighton - who was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal in a losing team - was simply numb.
"Very numb at the moment, mate," he said.
"It's our first time being in this position but I really feel we had the team to do it this year/
"We got beat by a good team.
"It's just one of those games. It hasn't really sunk in.
"Hats off to our boys. It's been a great year. Hats off the Roosters.
"It's absolutely gut wrenching. A feeling I can't explain."
Wighton's captain Josh Hodgson struggled to produce words which effectively described his pain.
"Obviously I'm a bit lost for words at the moment, mate," he said.
"We worked really hard and it's small things that win big games. It could have gone either way for a long period there.
"I love the boys to death it's an amazing group. A really tight knit bunch.
"Hopefully this is the first of many finals for us.
"It hurts at the moment. It feels like a punch in the stomach."
Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner mirrored his opposing skipper.
Hodgson was lost for words in defeat, Cordner was lost for words after a remarkable win.
"We knew if we played well we would give ourselves every chance but credit to Canberra, they came out all guns blazing like they have all year," he said.
"We just held on at the end there.
"I can't really think at the moment. There are all these emotions but God it feels good."
- SMH/The Age