The “Team of the Grand Finals” is finally in with club supporters voting for standout performers and club favourites in a fascinating XV.
Over the course of the season, the club has given supporters the chance to vote for their favourite high achievers in each position via social media.
Only those players with a starting role in Easts’ five men’s premiership sides were eligible which means decorated Wallabies like David Wilson and Peter McLean were not listed.
Some players like flanker Michael Gunn (2013 and 2020), Peter Murdoch (1997 and 1999) and Richard Graham (1997 and 1999) had an extra shot at votes with roles in multiple premierships.
In the end, nearly 800 votes were tallied. It’s been a chance for diehard Tigers’ fans to vote for players who resonated with them and left them with lasting memories from the biggest day of any club season.
Considering iPhones and Facebook weren’t even invented when the Tigers won two premierships in the 1990s, some older voters may have been waiting for paper voting slips that never appeared in their letter boxes.
There was a heavy weighting to the modern era with the 2020 premiership high still so fresh. The side earned the most spots in the team…seven.
Winger Shane Kennedy, halfback Eli Pilz, No.8 Ben Mowen, Gunn, flanker Tom Milosevic, lock Seru Uru and lock Mitch Schneider all finished on top of the voting for their spots.
By contrast, the trailblazers of the 1990s earned just four spots…centre JB Sullivan (1997), flyhalf Andrew Scotney (1997 and 1999), long-serving hooker Tim Stoddart (1999) and prop Rick Tyrrell (1997 and 1999).
It was always going to be hard to split flyhalves Scotney and Matt Brandon (2008 and 2013) for their deeds in two title wins apiece.
In the end, the fan vote couldn’t split them either with each tallying an identical number of votes. They will share the No.10 jersey in this Dream Team.
Otherwise, the tightest battle for a spot came at fullback where Andrew Walker (2008) shaded Graham by a single vote.
Centres Sullivan and Toby White (2013) commanded the biggest share of votes in any position with 54 per cent of the votes apiece.
There was only one more dominant vote. That was for coach where the esteem for Pat Richards (2008 and 2013) from his long tenure was obvious. He commanded 80 per cent of the vote.
Here goes…the “Team of the Grand Finals” you voted for.
Fullback: Andrew Walker (2008)
Winger: Shane Kennedy (2020)
Outside Centre: Toby White (2013)
Inside Centre: JB Sullivan (1997)
Winger: Johnny Wilder (2013)
Flyhalf: Andrew Scotney (1997 and 1999) and Matt Brandon (2008 and 2013)
Halfback: Eli Pilz (2020)
No.8: Ben Mowen (2020)
Openside Flanker: Michael Gunn (2013 and 2020)
Blindside Flanker: Tom Milosevic (2020)
Lock: Seru Uru (2020)
Lock: Mitch Schneider (2020)
Tighthead Prop: Kirwan Sanday (2013)
Hooker: Tim Stoddart (1999)
Loosehead Prop: Rick Tyrrell (1997 and 1999)
Coach: Pat Richards (2008 and 2013)