After missing out on success last year in the Grand Final, Melbourne defeated North Queensland Cowboys 34-6 to win the 2017 Grand Final in emphatic fashion.
Despite brief resistance from the Cowboys in the second-half, Melbourne always looked on course to secure the Premiership from the start
Melbourne struck first after 20 minutes when a Cowboys kick was dealt with by the Storm defence and Chambers then set Josh Addo-Carr free to charge 90 minutes to score.
The Storm kept up the pressure and registered their second when Billy Slater found Felise Kaufusi who stormed through a huge gap.
Slater then turned from provider to scorer. The full-back received a pass from Cooper Cronk before stepping through some weak Cowboys defending to stroll over. With Cameron Smith kicking all three conversions, Melbourne took an 18 point lead in to the dressing rooms at half-time.
North Queensland needed to be first to score in the second-half and did so when Te Maire Martin stepped through a gaping hole in the Melbourne Storm line.
However, resistance was brief and normal service was quickly resumed. First Dale Finucane crashed over next to the posts and then Curtis Scott was the beneficiary of a Cowboys mistake only 20 metres from their line. Cameron Smith missed his only conversion attempt to leave the Storm 28-6 in front.
With the ‘big three’ playing in Storm shirts together for the last time, the classic ‘outside inside’ play between the three set up Tohu Harris who launched a magnificent ball for Addo-Carr to saunter in.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Dale Finucane; Interchanges: 14 Kenneath Bromwich, 15 Tim Glasby, 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17 Slade Griffin
Tries: Addo-Carr 2, Kaufusi, Slater, Finucane, Scott; Goals: Smith 5
Cowboys: Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Michael Morgan, 17 Shaun Fensom, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo; Interchanges: 8 John Asiata, 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Coen Hess, 16 Corey Jensen
Tries: Martin; Goals: Lowe
Full coverage of the NRL Grand Final will feature in Monday’s issue of League Express, available in the shops and online from Sunday evening.