You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Colin Best on his way to score - during NRL 2nd Semi Final, Sharks defeated Bulldogs, Sunday 16th September 2001 at The SFS. Photographed on colour negative by Daniel Berehulak © Action Photographics 2001

Semi Finals Week 2, 2001: The Cronulla Sharks charge deep into the 2001 finals series was highlighted by a strong showing against competition heavyweights the Bulldogs at the SFS.

Finishing the regular season in second position behind eventual-runners up Parramatta, the Bulldogs went into the second week of the finals having gone down to the Dragons the week prior.

In recalling the events of what was his penultimate appearance in a Sharks jersey, former winger Mat Rogers said he and the side respected the Bulldogs team that had the potential to go on and claim the highest honours.

"They'd always had such a good semi final records, and we were a bit under the pump. That's when they rose, that was when they played their best football," he said.

"I remember Langy [Head Coach John Lang] being pretty focussed, telling us to have our heads on, and knowing what we were up for.

"It was a pretty good feeling that day. It's a game that sticks in my memory." 

Not to be deterred by the Bulldogs' challenge, a Sharks side brimming with confidence and including the names of eventual Dally M Medal winner Preston Campbell and Club legend David Peachey, went about putting on a clinic in scoring a nine-tries-to-two victory. 

"There's not too many games you remember in your career, but that was certainly one of them," Rogers said.

"Peachey had a blinder that day. I made two runs and scored a try. But then i got this wave, like vertigo and then I collapsed on the field.

"I got up and went again and all came good. I pushed on through the game and we ending up running out with a big win."

Rogers would make one last appearance as a Shark in the following week, in the preliminary final against the would-be premiers, the Newcastle Knights. 

Moving on to pursue a career in Rugby Union before returning to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans, the proud Queenslander said he has well and truly hung up the boots - before recently putting on his dancing shoes.

Featuring in this year's series of 'Dancing With The Stars', Rogers is channelling the swerves and steps he made famous during his time on the park, all in the name of a cause close to his heart. 

"It's hard, but I'm definitely enjoying it," he said.

"It's good to learn something new, and to represent a charity that my wife and I started on a national level to promote more awareness and raise funds for that cause  ... it means so much to us.

"I've never had any dance training or anything like that, I'm not taking myself too seriously. The Sharks supporters have got behind me all the way, and it really means a lot." 

For more details on Mat Rogers' charity and the good work that he is doing on the dance floor, click here.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners