Melbourne Storm put themselves among their club's greatest sides with premiership win

Dale Finucane and Cameron Smith of the Storm celebrate after Finucane scores a try. Photo: AAP

Dale Finucane and Cameron Smith of the Storm celebrate after Finucane scores a try. Photo: AAP

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One of Craig Bellamy's favourite maxims is "look at a team's last game and you will see their season".

The Melbourne Storm coach expected his side to do just that in Sunday's NRL grand final and cap off a dominant campaign with a premiership.

It wasn't easy and took them almost 70 minutes to do but when their moment came the Storm bolted to the finish line with a 34-6 win.

The 2017 Storm took the club back to the top of the NRL and did so with a level of excellence rarely seen at AAMI Park since the 2007 side dominated the competition.

Like their 2007 forefathers, the Storm's grand final win saw them claim the minor premiership during the season and the grand final.

Storm's Antonio Winterstein is congratulated after his try. Photo: AAP

Storm's Antonio Winterstein is congratulated after his try. Photo: AAP

Just as they did all year, the Storm gave their opponents nothing and when given an inch, took every step of a mile as demonstrated by winger Josh Addo-Carr's stunning first try as he took a hand-off from Will Chambers deep in their own half then sprinted it back up the field beating multiple Cowboys.

Like their 2007 forefathers, the Storm's grand final win saw them claim the minor premiership during the season and the grand final.

Just as they did all year, the Storm gave their opponents nothing and when given an inch, took every step of a mile as demonstrated by winger Josh Addo-Carr's stunning first try as he took a hand-off from Will Chambers deep in their own half then sprinted it back up the field beating multiple Cowboys.

It would have been easy for the Storm to drop their guard and it looked like perhaps it might in the opening minutes when Jesse Bromwich made a line break but not a pass-off to Cameron Munster would have seen the first try.

Storm's Curtis Scott enjoys the moment. Photo: AAP

Storm's Curtis Scott enjoys the moment. Photo: AAP

But in the process of stopping Bromwich, who spilled the ball, Cowboys forward Shaun Fensom suffered a suspected broken leg and a near 10-minute break was needed.

In that time the likes of Cronk and Cameron Smith calmed the side and they looked a more steady group thereafter.

Smith, who claimed the Dally M medal as best player in the NRL earlier in the week, was a constant menace, testing the edges of the Cowboys' defence and using his array of dummies and fakes to break down their resolve.

Harris, Will Chambers and Billy Slater were all carving up metres and by half-time Felise Kaufusi and Slater had scored converted tries to have the Cowboys on the ropes at 18-0 down.

Melbourne's defence was not up to their usual high standard to start the second half as they gave away repeated sets which enabled Te Maire Martin to score a try.

Faced with a scare, the Storm went back to what has fuelled their success all season. Patience, thorough defence and sharing the load.

Smart interchanges from Bellamy also played a part as a rested Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane came back from long rests and took up the slack.

With the Cowboys back-pedalling Smith found Finucane close to the line and he barrelled over to extend the margin to 24-6, it looked the sealer before teenager Curtis Scott scored himself a try.

Harris was outstanding and he showed his underrated passing skills in the closing minutes with a looping pass to the wing finding an unmarked Addo-Carr for his brace.

This side will change next season, the big three of Slater, Cronk and Smith will never run out for the Storm again but history will forever rank them among the greatest.

A classic Storm performance capped off a celebrated season. No one would rule out a repeat next year.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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