Melbourne Storm wins 2017 NRL Grand Final

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Melbourne Storm wins 2017 NRL Grand Final

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

Slater broke down several times following the Melbourne Storm's 34-6 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys, overcome with emotion following his long journey back from a knee injury that nearly ended his playing days.

Winger Josh Addo-Carr chimed in with a double to to help the storm to and emphatic victory.

Cowboys: Lachlan Cootem Jyle Feldt, Justin O'Neill, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Te Maire Martin, Michael Morgan, John Asiata, Jake Granville, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper (c), Ethen Lowe, Jason Taumalolo.

Melbourne star halfback Cooper Cronk is expected to retire or move to a Sydney club next season.

Skipper Cameron Smith, the 2017 Player of the Year, scored five conversions as the dominant Storm ran in six tries. Melbourne sensed blood in the water.

Honestly, it would be nearly too weird to see Smith crunch Cronk after a bomb or see Slater being toyed with by the number seven's near-perfect kicking game.

The Cowboys can beat the Storm but they have to go about it the way we did and that includes containing the Storm's main man - Dally M Medallist Cameron Smith.

NRL spokesman Glenn Jackson told The Daily Telegraph big games are often delayed to ensure the 80,000 fans get into the ground on time.

However, eventually, Martin got through some exhausted defence to give the Cowboys a chance.

That was as good as it got for the Cowboys though as an unstoppable Storm outfit exploded late in similar fashion to that in which they put Brisbane to the sword a week earlier. It was 24-6 after 63 minutes and the Cowboys' dream was effectively over.

Averaging 1796 total run metres per game in this finals series, compared to Melbourne's 1569, it's via the engine room that the Cowboys can gain an advantage and ensure they hold their own in the arm wrestle at ANZ Stadium. Coach Paul Green's men are full of confidence and have nothing to lose - a combination that could very well prove the ideal recipe for premiership success.

The Cowboys were stunned, and soon afterwards Storm speedster Josh Addo-Carr bolted clear for the opening try.

That experienced trio, Jesse Bromwich and centre Will Chambers are the only players in the Storm side remaining from their 2012 grand final winning side.

But the evening definitely belonged to scrum-half Cronk and his great mate Slater.

"It's really hard to give up moments like this".

Dale Finucane restored his team's advantage in the 64th minute and from there the Storm were never threatened as they avenged last year's grand final loss to Cronulla.

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