The Roosters are worthy title holders. The best thing about their premiership this year is the quality of the opposition they had to defeat. Overcoming the resilient Sea Eagles must make this achievement all the more worthwhile.
Just because a team has been the best-performed side all season does not guarantee them a premiership title.
History is littered with stories of those who dominated the home-and-away rounds of the competition, only to be found wanting under the blowtorch of finals football.
Titles are won by the best team on grand final day, the team that can bring their best to the big show when it matters most.
The 2013 Sydney Roosters have managed to do both this season. They were the best attacking and best defensive team all year. They needed both these attributes, and then some, to hold off a very spirited opponent.
What a grand final. I dare say it was one of the best I have ever seen. The intensity, the physicality, the brutality, the emotion, the skill; this match had everything.
The Sea Eagles have inspired us all with their courage and tenacity during the past month. They dominated the first 20 minutes of play of both halves, but were unable to maintain the rage under fatigue at the back end of each period.
The Roosters showed enormous mental toughness to come from behind twice in the contest and claim victory. The second time they had given up up a 10-point lead and at that point they looked rattled.
There is no doubt the penalty try awarded to Manly skipper Jamie Lyon almost had the Roosters on tilt. They lost cohesion for a time after that decision and Manly hurt them again to extend their lead to 18-8.
Enter Sonny Bill Williams.
You may wonder why we heap so much praise on this young man, however, any doubts you may have had regarding his superior talents and irresistible influence was surely put to bed as SBW stamped his authority on the contest.
Some of his goal-line defence was simply heroic. He came up with several crucial tackles close to his own line to deny Manly.
But it was two brilliant attacking plays produced by SBW when it was needed most in the second half that will live long in our memories.
The first was a surging run and exquisite round-the-corner pass to teammate James Maloney to send him sprinting into the back-field before linking up with Anthony Minichiello and Shaun Kenny-Dowall to produce the ''go-ahead'' try for the tri-colours.
The second was a blistering line break executed all on his own. Sheer will and desire saw him smash through the Manly defensive line and race deep into opposition territory to put his team on the attack.
This eventually led to the match-clinching try by centre Michael Jennings, which will make all the highlight reels for many years to come. A pin-point kick from James Maloney seemed covered by the Manly players until the electrifying speed of Jennings saw him ground the ball centimetres from the dead-ball line.
These were massive plays in the context of the match and it was fitting for such an outstanding match to be eventually won by such memorable moments.
All members of the Roosters team were tremendous. The forwards toiled away in the trenches under the most fearsome fire from the Manly side. The Manly players had taken the attitude they would attack with their defence, and they launched themselves in gang tackles at every Roosters forward who carried the ball. It was willing stuff.
The Roosters' big men stuck to their task bravely and by the back end of each half they were starting to dominate the advantage line.
Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and Maloney have come of age. The Origin series together has done wonders for their belief and maturity. Both came up with big plays at the right time.
The Roosters outside backs are quick and strong. Young wingers Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Daniel Tupou were given the ultimate examination by the Manly boys, but both stood tall under the barrage.
And then there is the captain; the veteran at the back of the team, fullback Anthony Minichiello. He was outstanding.
I could work through the Manly team and heap similar praise on the individual members of their team. However, that will be little solace for these fellows who battled so hard.
Losing a grand final is gut-wrenching. But for what it's worth, I have admired everything this Manly side has stood for all season. These players were a credit to their club.
At the end of the day though, grand finals are all about the winning. The Roosters showed all the qualities we expect from a championship team and thoroughly deserved their victory lap at full-time. To know they prevailed in one of the greatest grand final clashes of all time is a badge of honour they can proudly wear for the rest of their lives.