Storm send the Big Three out in style

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Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys

Melbourne Storm secured their third NRL premiership, with a dominant 34-6 victory over North Queensland Cowboys tonight at ANZ Stadium.

In the lead up, all the hype had been about the big three, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk, playing together for the 231st and final time - they came out, looking to prove a point and led so thoroughly, leading 18-nil at the half then finishing with a flurry for a 34-6 final scoreline.

It was the perfect finale, if it is to be for the three men who had defined a generation of success at the Storm. Cronk pulled the strings from the halves while Smith, racked up the most metres of a forward in the contest while Slater completed the fairytale comeback.

After two seasons out with injury, Slater came back to help Queensland retain the origin shield, became the second highest try-scorer in NRL history then added a second premiership with the Storm. It showed in his emotional post-match interview showed how much it meant, to Slater, a man, who has achieved everything the NRL has to offer.

A word for the Cowboys, spirited in defeat, they were were on their Mad Monday in R26 before a Bulldogs comeback. They needed to defeat last year's premiers, Parramatta and the Roosters on their way to this game, while enduring the losses of Johnathan Thurston and Matthew Scott. They ran into a machine tonight, but it was a ride to remember for those in the North of Queensland.

From the opening whistle, their intensity and pressure put them on top, after a tense 19 minutes, it took one moment. A spilled bomb fell to Will Chambers, the centre recognised Josh Addo-Carr was looming, offloaded and the winger aptly named 'The Fox' finished off a blistering 70 metre run for the opener. 

Once they got ahead, it all went to script for the Storm. They added two more efforts just before the break, as Felise Kaufusi ran the perfect line then who else, Billy Slater, the comeback kid spied a hole and shot through to complete the 18-nil lead, on his way to a Clive Churchill Medal-winning performance.

North Queensland refuse to give up this season, not through injuries, or deficits, so they dug deep to find a way back into the contest. They got the ideal start to the second half, due to a raft of penalties, they camped on the Storm line before Te Maire Martin stepped his way to the line. 

That was the only sniff the Cowboys would get, as the Storm rolled through their structures, then put their plan into action. Dale Finucane, a three-time loser in Grand Finals, took the short ball from Smith to stroll across. 

The floodgates opened as Addo-Carr completed a brace then turned provider, for young centre Curtis Scott to confirm what many had predicted quite early in the season, Melbourne Storm are premiers in 2017.

Melbourne Storm 34 - North Queensland Cowboys 6

Venue: ANZ Stadium
Crowd: 79722
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 18 North Queensland Cowboys 0

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cameron Smith
2 points - Tohu Harris
1 points - Billy Slater

MELBOURNE STORM (34)
Tries: Josh Addo-Carr (2), Felise Kaufusi, Billy Slater, Dale Finucane, Curtis Scott
Field Goals:
Conversions: Cameron Smith (5/6)
Penalty Goals:

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (6)
Tries: Te Maire Martin
Field Goals:
Conversions: Ethan Lowe (1/1)
Penalty Goals:


See how it happened in our Match Centre

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