Cronulla Sharks defeated Melbourne Storm in Sunday’s Grand Final “replay”, but the result was in doubt until the final minutes of a match played in torrential rain.
A 2-all scoreline was turned into an 11-2 victory for the Sharks, giving the Storm their first defeat in 2016.
The only score of the first half was a penalty to Cameron Smith following a high tackle on Billy Slater.
The rain continued to bucket down after the break and twice within the space of a minute Melbourne’s Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivala lost the ball over the tryline.
Eventually, in the 57th minute Maloney evened up the scores with a simple penalty goal and he added a field-goal before former Leeds hooker James Segeyaro scored the only try of the afternoon, with Maloney converting for a 9-2 lead on 75 minutes.
Maloney added another penalty goal right on the full-time siren.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 18 Young Tonumaipea, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Ryley Jacks, 7 Cooper Cronk, 15 Tim Glasby, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Kenneath Bromwich, 13 Dale Finucane, Interchange: 14 Joe Stimson, 16 Mark Nicholls, 21 Jordan McLean, 20 Christian Welch.
Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jack Bird, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Gerard Beale, 6 James Maloney, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Luke Lewis, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen (c), Interchange:, 14 Jayson Bukuya, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jeremy Latimore, 17 James Segeyaro.
A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express