NRL 2020, Sydney Roosters, The Dawn Wall, epic rock climbing documentary that spurred Chooks to premiership glory


First they built the Great Wall of Bondi to win the 2013 premiership.

Now the Sydney Roosters have turned to the epic rock climbing documentary The Dawn Wall to become the first NRL club in 25 seasons to win back-to-back titles.

A magnificent 914m granite cliff face perched in California’s picturesque Yosemite National Park, until 2015 nobody had climbed The Dawn Wall.

Watch the 2020 NRL Nines tournament LIVE & On-Demand on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Round 1Trent Robinson inspired his troops by showing The Dawn Wall.Trent Robinson inspired his troops by showing The Dawn Wall.Source: News Corp Australia

Supposedly, it was impossible. Only someone with a death-wish would try it.

Enter US rock-climbing guru Tommy Caldwell and his partner-in-crime Kevin Jorgeson.

The duo spent 19 gripping days scaling the vertical cliff face, navigating a range of physical and mental obstacles that simply have to be seen to be believed.

What’s this got to do with the greatest game of all?

In February of last year, three-time premiership-winning coach Trent Robinson assembled the Roosters NRL roster on the turf at the SCG.

A rock-climbing enthusiast, Robinson had arranged for The Dawn Wall to be beamed on to the big screen.

The Roosters talk to the stars of The Dawn Wall.The Roosters talk to the stars of The Dawn Wall.Source: Supplied

After watching it, the Roosters made the monumental challenge of climbing The Dawn Wall the theme of their season.

Sure, the challenges were in vastly different fields. But there were enough parallels in terms of the mental and physical sacrifice required to achieve their end goals.

Robinson referenced

the powerful documentary repeatedly throughout the course of the year as the Roosters encountered their own twists and turns on their journey to back-to-back titles.

In July last year, the Roosters spent a night listening to Caldwell and Jorgeson as the pair were embarking on a speaking tour of Australia.

Trent Robinson is fascinated by the stars of The Dawn Wall.Trent Robinson is fascinated by the stars of The Dawn Wall.Source: Supplied


JUSTIFY THE PRICE TAG: The star most under pressure at your NRL club in 2020

BANNED: Ex-Souths prop claims kissing woman on date sparked failed drugs test

TRIAL STALLS: Legal argument delays start of Jack de Belin rape trial

Inside the SCG Trust Suite, the rock climbing pair provided an insight into the epic challenges they overcame.

Renowned US rock climber Caldwell dedicated his life to becoming the first man to climb The Dawn Wall.

At one point during the ascent, it looked like he’d be the only man to climb it – when Jorgeson became snagged in one particular section.

Caldwell powered on for the next three days, only to return and tell Jorgeson he was waiting as long as it took for him to continue.

The symbolism is impossible to miss and was one of the staples of the Sydney Roosters triumph.

Team first. Help your mate. Win together.

It might have only provided a one per cent edge but there is no question The Dawn Wall played a role in the Sydney Roosters going back-to-back.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply