The Greatest NRL Grand Final Ever. Lesson Number Four: The Game Goes For Eighty Minutes For A Reason…

At the start of last month, my family and I attended the Grand Final match of the NRL [National Rugby League (of Australia)] season.

The game was a hard fought game played between the Penrith Panthers and the Brisbane Broncos. These two teams finished first and second during the regular season and were the best two teams of the seventeen teams that competed throughout this season.

The Penrith Panthers, the that finished first, were also the season Premiers for 2021 and 2022, and were chasing a third straight Premiership title. This was a feat not seen for forty years, and a feat made very difficult to achieve because of salary-cap restrictions [spending restrictions] placed on each team in an effort to help spread the talent [of players] more evenly throughout the competition.

The team that the Panthers were to play was the Brisbane Broncos, who had finished equal first, but second on points differentials. The Broncos had been a very successful team twenty and thirty years ago, but had not won a premiership for some sixteen years.

The Broncos team was very talented, and the game was expected to be a cracker of a contest.

And it was.

After leading the Broncos 8-6 at half-time, the Panthers came back from a deficit of 24-8 with 18 minutes to play to win the match 26-24 in the final three minutes.

This was the biggest comeback ever seen in the history of Rugby League Grand Finals.

The result left all spectators, commentators and journalists wondering what exactly they had just witnessed.

With eighteen minutes to play, nobody in the ground believed that in a game of this intensity, the tide could turn against the Broncos who had taken the half-time score from 6-8 to 24-8.

At 24-8, the whole crowd believed that the Broncos would just go on with the slaughter of the Panthers and show no mercy.

Everybody in the ground believed that at that point, with eighteen minutes to go, it was “game over” for the Panthers.

Especially because at eighteen minutes to go, three key Panthers players were off the field… their star playmaker Jarome Luai had succumbed to severe pain of playing with a previously dislocated shoulder that required immediate surgery [which he had chosen to delay] ….and two star forwards were off the field for concussion assessments.

Things did not look good for the Panthers…

The trouble was, nobody told the Panthers players that the game over script had been written for them…

Here’s what happened…

With eighteen minutes to play, the Broncos changed their game plan and

Instead of continuing on with the plays that had stunned the Panthers players, the Broncos started to chance their arms. Instead of tightening things up and playing like a team in control of the ball with a sixteen point lead to protect, they started playing like a team that was sixteen points behind.

They gave control of the ball back to the Panthers for the majority of the last eighteen minutes.

Because of the Panthers’ high completion rate during the first half, the Broncos had needed to defend more than the Panthers, and so as the final eighteen minutes approached, the Broncos’ stamina began to be tested, and tested heavily.

They made rash  decisions, with the boot, and with the ball.

And their defence tired, and was stretched, by the relentless Panthers.

And the Panthers wore the Broncos down.

In the wash up…

Statistics will show you that the Broncos took the lead in the Grand Final at the 44th minute, and extended that lead again at the 52nd minute and also at the 54th minute.

And then, for some reason, at around the 59th minute, the Broncos started to toss the ball around, and the Panthers seized their opportunity.

When the Panthers scored in the 62nd minute to reduce the Broncos lead to ten points, not many people in the ground believed that the Panthers could still score twice more, to regain the lead.

But history will show that they did.

There’s a reason they put the winning post for a horse race at the end of the straight…

There’s a reason they put the winning post for a horse race at the end of the straight, and not at the start of the straight.

And that’s because the final run down the straight is where the true champions are made.

It’s the same in track and field running.

Everybody knows where the finish line is.

And it’s up to every horse, and every athlete to do everything in their power to get to the finish line before their competitors.

In the NRL Grand Final, the finish line, the end of the game, is at the eighty minute mark.

It’s not at the sixty minute mark.

It’s not at the seventy minute mark.

It’s at the eighty minute mark.

And the team leading at the eightieth minute is crowned the winner.

In 1986…

In 1986, Australian golfer Greg Norman led all four majors after three rounds.

In all but one, the British Open, he was beaten on the final day and finished runner-up.

[The four Majors are the four most significant golf tournaments played each calendar year. A golf tournament is played over four rounds, and the winner is the golfer who has had the least number of strokes after four rounds. Not three rounds].

In your dental practice…

Are you and your team delivering one hundred percent consistently across the entire week?

Or are there members of your team who have that “Thank God Its Friday” attitude?

Are there members of your team who celebrate Wednesday as “Hump Day”, and coast the last three days to the weekend?

Is it fair to disappoint your patients who have a Friday afternoon appointment, but they don’t receive the same attention as those patients who attend your practice earlier in the week?

The quality of the care and the service that your office delivers to your patients should not be affected by the time of day, nor by the day of the week that it is delivered.

It’s up to you and your team to always deliver above and beyond consistency of performance.

That’s what truly determines and defines a champion team…


Need your phones monitored?

Are you concerned about the number of calls that are not being answered as best they can be?

You need Call Tracking Excellence.

For the cost of a less than one cleaning per week, you could have your phones being answered much much better….

Convert more calls into appointments…Click the link:

Call Jayne on 1300 378 044 or email for more details.


Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

You can order your copy here: Click Link To Order


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at