Cordner Joins Rare Company After Stellar Season
It's an achievement that etches Boyd Cordner's name in the history books in a way that has rarely been done before – well and truly solidifying his status among Rugby League's elite.
After captaining the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues to a historic series victory earlier this year, and leading the Sydney Roosters, along with Co-Captain Jake Friend, to the club's 14th premiership on Sunday, Cordner became just the second player in history to achieve the feat in the same year since Steve Mortimer in 1985.
The evolution of Cordner both as a player and captain speaks volumes of his rise into one of the game's most revered leaders – showing maturity beyond his years since he was named Captain of NSW and the foundation club in 2017.
And following the Roosters emphatic 21-6 win over the Storm in the decider, coach Trent Robinson lauded Cordner and the leadership group for galvanising the club through periods of adversity throughout the 2018 season.
"They've been incredible. The amount they've adapted [after] we changed the game plan after eight weeks, [there] was not one complaint...they just went 'rightio let's get on with it, [what's] the next step." Robinson said.
"We're a tight bunch and most of you would know when you hear grundles within a team and there was a lot of talk about us but we've been so tight throughout the year and it's because of the senior guys and their control.
"They're all workers [and] you notice Boyd, Jake, Jared (Warea-Hargreaves), 'Coops', 'Aubbo', 'Teddy', Luke (Keary) and Isaac Liu are high quality people that just work hard. They wouldn't accept 'I'm not feeling good or I'm not doing this".
To add to his stellar list achievements across the past 18 months, Cordner also became the youngest player to captain NSW to an Origin series victory since Brad Fittler in 1996, and he now stands as the youngest player to lead his side to premiership glory since Cameron Smith in 2009.
But his leadership credentials were evident back when he joined the Roosters as a 16-year-old under the watchful eye of Fittler in 2008, with his unrivalled on-field talent matching his stature as a leader in more ways than one.
His resilience has a profound impact on those around him and Robinson says the example set by the 26-year-old, along with the Roosters leadership group, was instrumental in the side's Grand Final preparations with the uncertainty surrounding Cooper Cronk's injured shoulder.
"Before the game a lot of people don't get a lot of insight into how a team runs. We (coaches) do a lot of the planning early in the week – obviously design trainings and [then] these guys take over late in the week about 'okay we got all our information this is how we're gonna play," he said.
"Coaching is very different to what it was a long time ago. Coaching is about coaching players to coach other players [and] it's about big team performance and that's what happened.
"There's a lot that goes into it from different people."
Cordner will now look ahead to the two Australian Kangaroos Test matches against New Zealand and Tonga in October, just 12 months after playing a crucial role as Vice-Captain in their victorious World Cup campaign.