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24 Feb 2018 14:49
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Storm romp over Cowboys in NRL GF

    Melbourne have romped to a comprehensive 34-6 win over North Queensland in the NRL grand final at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    - article from

    Melbourne have completed a near-perfect season and sent Cooper Cronk out a winner with a 34-6 rout of North Queensland to claim the 2017 NRL premiership.

    A vintage Storm strong-armed their way to a three-try lead at halftime and were rarely threatened in front of a crowd of 79,722 at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

    Only when Cowboys pivot Te Maire Martin sliced through soon after resumption did the Storm's grip on the trophy loosen.

    The Cowboys had a couple of opportunities to reduce the deficit further however were turned away and folded easily as their finals fairytale came to a bitter end.

    Dale Finucane restored his team's advantage in the 64th minute before Curtis Scott and Josh Addo-Carr sealed the title - and their 10th straight win - in a comprehensive performance.

    In their final appearance together across 14 years, the Storm's big three of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cronk put on their signature three-man play for Addo-Carr to complete his brace.

    Slater capped off his comeback by winning the Clive Churchill medal, scoring a try and having a hand in two others, while Smith and Tohu Harris were also immense.

    For the Cowboys, spearhead Jason Taumalolo went missing after only just managing to crack triple figures in a finals series where he had averaged over 250 metres.

    Storm coach Craig Bellamy said they were dominant from start to finish.

    "I thought our defence pretty much was great for the whole game but a lot more clinical tonight than we have been the other two finals," he said.

    "We were more clinical consistently. We had a very light week on the training paddock and tried to fresh them up a little bit. Basically what we planned, we did it for 80 minutes."

    Cowboys star Michael Morgan was embarrassed by the defeat.

    "It does hurt. It feels like a waste of a season to be honest," he told the Nine Network.

    "You come this far and we were a little bit embarrassed tonight. That scoreline doesn't reflect the effort we put in through this year."

    The contest was only four minutes old when the Cowboys copped their first major blow of the night courtesy of some friendly fire.

    Second-rower Ethan Lowe stretched out to tackle a runaway Jesse Bromwich but only managed to swing around and accidentally break Shaun Fensom's leg.

    Play was stopped for ten minutes as the Cowboys prop was stretchered from the field.

    The Bromwich line break was one of two opportunities the Storm had to open the scoring, only for some desperate Cowboys defence to hold firm.

    It wasn't until the 19th minute that the favourites turned their dominance into points, with a runaway Addo-Carr latching onto a Will Chambers offload to finish a 90-metre movement.

    The breakthrough was all Melbourne needed to turn the screws on their opposition as their right-edge ensured an 18-0 advantage at halftime.

    First Slater sent Felise Kaufusi in on a right-side shift in the 28th minute, before the Melbourne fullback went through himself on the same play just before the break.


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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