Panthers winger Brian To’o has softened the hearts of even the most die-hard football fans by making his partner a proposal just minutes after winning the NRL grand final with the Panthers.
Most important points:
- Brian To’o has proposed to his partner after winning the 2021 NRL Premiership
- Sala Moesha Crichton-Ropati has been to Brisbane with the family bubble of the league
- The Panthers won the grand final 14-12 over the Rabbitohs
To’o, 23, walked to the sidelines after his side defeated the Rabbitohs 14-12 to where his partner Sala Moesha Crichton-Ropati sat – and with blood dripping over his face from a knock halfway through the match, he threw the ask on .
She said yes.
“I thought he would just come and give me a hug, as he usually does,” she told Channel Nine after the game.
To’o was named Winger of the Year at this week’s Dally M awards after scoring 15 tries in his third NRL season, in a year filled with COVID disruption and away from home.
The fan favorite was also part of NSW’s winning State of Origin side this year, making his Blues debut with two tries in Game 1.
He said in a post-major final interview that he was “so lucky” to have not only gotten a premiership ring, but also a fiancé.
“It’s been a huge year, not just for myself, but for my family and my community,” he told NRL great Cameron Smith.
“I want to thank my beautiful partner for saying yes, and all credit to the guys who got us the win.
“It is a very special moment to have, not only with my partner, but also for my family at home in lockdown.”
Crichton-Ropati, who is related to To’o’s team-mate Stephen Crichton, moved to Queensland to be part of the NRL’s family bubble but said it was a difficult decision to be away from her own family.
“It was 50-50 for me to get here,” she said.
“But being there for each other made it even better.”
It was the icing on the cake of a great night for the Panthers, who won their first premiership in nearly two decades after losing to the Melbourne Storm in last year’s grand final.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary told ABC Sport last season’s defeat was a driving force for his young side.
The road to the 2021 grand final had been a few bumps for To’o – he was ruled out of the semi-finals due to an ankle injury, but was able to see the rest of the Panthers’ successful season.