Melbourne Storm Win Sixth Premiership, Despite Loss of Key Players
The Melbourne Storm have once again claimed the NRL premiership, outmaneuvering the Penrith Panthers in a tight 26-20 victory last night at Sydney’s Homebush Stadium, before a capped crowd of 40,000 people.
Melbourne led by 22-0 at half time, before a galant late surge by the Panthers had hearts in mouths south of the border, and coach Craig Bellamy furiously kicking chairs in the coaches box.
Its the sixth premiership the team have won since 1999*, having appeared in ten Grand Finals (two were dubiously scratched for salary cap infringements, despite having developed the players in question). The latest premiership comes despite the loss of key players in recent years, such as Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk (and despite the predictably biased Nine WWOS commentary team, who may as well have been adorned in Penrith scarves and beanies).
Club captain and legend, Cameron Smith (37), who scored 14 points in the Grand Final (lifting his total Grand Final tally to 42 - the most scored by a single player) has remained coy on whether he will be going out on a high and retiring.
Watch the highlights below.