The sight of Roosters halfback Jordan Sharpe picking up and smashing Bears centre Richard Clegg in a tackle late in Saturday's grand final was even more impressive in the context of Sharpe's battle to play the match.
In short, he should not have played. Geoff Sharpe, his father and coach, revealed after the 40-4 loss to North Tamworth at Jack Woolaston Oval that the dislocation of his son's left knee in the preliminary final a week earlier should have sidelined him for a month.
He had sustained medial ligament damage and bruising to the bone.
"He couldn't walk on Sunday [September 1]," the coach said. "And we got him in to see [physiotherapist] Warren [Ansell], and it didn't look good. And we massaged [the knee], we've used ultrasound and we've iced it.
"We went to a surgeon yesterday [Saturday], and he said, 'Nah mate, he'd be out for four weeks. I'd be putting you in a brace'.
"So we went to see Warren Ansell [again], and he came up with some strapping that was good enough to support the knee cap so it didn't dislocate again and to support the medial [ligament] and still allow him a bit of freedom so he could run around ... by rights he should have had four weeks off."
Kootingal-Moonbi rode a wave of wins into the finale, with Sharpe, the side's chief playmaker and captain, leading the side in inspired fashion. Hence the concerted effort to get him on the park.
It didn't amount to a shock win. Post-match, Geoff Sharpe said that to better compete against Norths, the Roosters needed to bulk up - "just to be able to match it with these big boys".
"I've got a lot of young blokes who are probably carrying too fewer kilos than what the Norths boys are carrying," he said.
He continued: "We'll regroup and go again next year ... We're really working hard to move the club forward and be competitive in first grade, as compared to just turning up in second division. We'll keep going."
North Tamworth went through the season undefeated, and were never seriously challenged. Kooty only trailed 12-0 at half-time, but then Bears captain-coach Scott Blanch revved up the side's lights-out left edge.
Geoff Sharpe said the Bears just had too much class.
"I thought we shut down [Josh] Schmiedel quite well, and then they worked us over really hard on [the left edge] ... and we had to scramble really hard to hold them out there," he said.
"And then Chinny [Shane] Wadwell came back in that second stint - just really hurt us in the middle when the boys were fatigued."
Post-match, the Roosters skipper said he was always going to play on Saturday, and, in fact, the knee felt OK. "I can actually run fairly well - probably 90 per cent [of normal capacity]."