NRL Grand Final: Melbourne Storm Blow Cowboys Away

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Cameron Smith of the Storm celebrates and holds aloft the NRL Premiership trophy after winning the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

It was the perfect farewell for Cooper Cronk as the Melbourne Storm blew the Cowboys away. The 79,722 crowd at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney were treated another fantastic Grand Finale. It was the perfect storm in Sydney.

Melbourne Storm Blow Cowboys Away

Melbourne Storm blew away the North Queensland Cowboys in a one-sided finale 34-6. Josh Ado-Carr picked up two tries to equal Suliasi Vunivalu’s tally of the season.

It was the last night too for Melbourne Storm faithfuls to witness the big three in action. Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith were playing their last game together in purple for the Storm. Billy Slater also picked up the Clive Churchill Medal.

The Grand Finale fiesta was kicked off by popstar Macklemore. He had the crowd on their feet. It was a grand way to open the night. His ballad ‘Same Love’ had the crowd going.

NRL Grand Final: Melbourne Storm Blow Cowboys Away

Melbourne Storm had to wait until the 20th minute to stamp their mark. Jason Ado-Carr scored a runaway try to give the Storm the lead. It was a real see-saw battle up to that point with both sides going hard at each other.

The game was stopped for 15 minutes after two minutes of play. A nasty injury to Shaun Fenson who collided with a team mate, had to be transported off the field. It was an uphill battle for the Cowboys from then on as they had to adjust their interchange.

The Storm attacked Te Maire Martin exploiting his weakness. They were rewarded with a try to one of the standouts in the final series so far Felise Kaufusi.

Billy Slater picked up his third grand final career try when he went over Maire Martin. The Cowboys were really struggling at this point and the head to the shed trailing 0-18.

Is a Comeback on?

From the second half kickoff the Cowboys went to attack mode. They were rewarded with a try to Te Maire Martin from a Michael Morgan slick pass.

Gavin Cooper rallied his troops as they took the game to the Storm. Jason Taumalolo, Ethan Lowe, Kyle Feldt together with Coen Hess and Michael Morgan.

However, like in typical Storm style super-interchange Dale Finucane came off the bench to score. Smith add the extras to extend their lead 24-7. The Cowboys gave their all but to no avail as the Storm blew them away.

“He always comes off the bench and does his work and some more” Fox Sports commentator Peter Stirling on Finucane

Just when the Cowboys were licking their wounds, one of their passes went astray straight into the hands of Ado-Carr. He  took the tackle and offloaded to rookie center Curtis Scott for his debut final try.

Before the game, the Storm wing combination of Suli Vunivalu and Ado-Carr had 44 tries between them.  Ado-Carr picked up a double in the final to level with Vunivalu on 23 a piece for the season. The big three of Smith, Cronk and Slater combined for that Ado-Carr second. The lead 34-6 with five minutes to go.

Can they be tamed?

This is the question that every NRL (National Rugby League) side will be asking in the off-season. The Storm dominated the entire season and they are the consistent side in the past five season.

Cooper Cronk will be missed next season but they have a knack of finding worthy replacements. Cameron Munster will step up and combine with Slater and Smith.

How they will tackle next season will be key in their future success, For the Cowboys, they have played well without their two talisman in Matt Scott and Jonathan Thurston.

Clive Churchill Medal

He was undoubtedly the best in the past two weeks and again in the final. Billy Slater showed everyone how it was done and he did it in style. He scored a try with a try assist.

 

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