NRL Grand Final: Super Storm spoil Cowboys' fairytale with runaway victory

Tabitha Dunn
October 2, 2017

"The North Queensland Cowboys are proof that regional NRL clubs can be successful, whilst also allowing more local talent a pathway into professional football with the support of their local community around them", Mr Murphy said.

An enormous day of rugby league action to wrap up the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership will begin at 10am on Nine when Sports Sunday, hosted by Emma Freedman, welcomes two Grand Final heroes in former Storm captain Glenn Lazarus and Cowboys legend Brent Tate to the studio for a special NRL Grand Final preview show. Halfback Michael Morgan has been the game's most in-form player over the past six weeks and Kiwis lock Jason Taumalolo is the most destructive forward in the competition.

They have instead been forced to move their final training session to Sydney's Jubilee Park in Kogorah.

Are you game enough to write them off?

"Behind closed doors, the CQ NRL Bid is working hard to ensure they are ready to go when the time comes".

For the last hour of the season, the grand final became a study in excellence.

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

Grand final glory Justin O'Neill and the Storm celebrate the centre's try against Canterbury in 2012
NRL Grand Final: Super Storm spoil Cowboys' fairytale with runaway victory

Smith, Slater, Cronk and co rubbed further salt in the wood in the finals stages as Curtis Scott strolled through next, after Addo-Carr picked up a loose ball. From there, the Storm never looked like losing. It was all Melbourne in the first half as they raced to 18-0 up at the break.

On paper Melbourne have the better big men, led by names like Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris, but the reality is that the Cowboys have the edge on the Storm's forwards.

It was a try devoid of "Big Three" involvement, but Smith, Clive Churchill Medallist Billy Slater and departing hero Cooper Cronk more than made up for it, the star trio combining for Felise Kaufusi's 28th-minute try, and it just got better for those of a Melbourne persuasion.

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.

One player who could pop up and get in first is the Cowboys' Kyle Feldt. "If he can continue his form they can certainly win". We had to complete at 93% to beat them and I think we had three errors during the entire game.

It was clear in that moment - and Shaun Fensom's serious knee injury that saw him stretchered off - that it would not be the Cowboys' night.

Melbourne is favourite especially when it has the three superstars Smith, Cronk and Billy Slater. Morgan has grown into one of the best halves in the league and Taumalolo might be the best player in the world full stop.

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