|NRL Grand Final|
|Sydney Roosters (18) 21|
|Tries: Tupou, Mitchell, Manu Goals: Mitchell 4 Drop-goal: Keary|
|Melbourne Storm (0) 6|
|Try: Addo-Carr Goal: C Smith|
The Sydney Roosters spoiled Melbourne Storm legend Billy Slater’s rugby league farewell with a comprehensive victory in the NRL Grand Final.
Slater was cleared to play in the showpiece after avoiding suspension for a shoulder charge in the semi-finals.
The 35-year-old has won two NRL Premierships and two World Cups, plus eight State of Origin championships.
But he could do little to stop a rampant Rooters side, coached by former Catalans Dragons coach Trent Robinson.
The Roosters themselves named former Storm star Cooper Cronk in their team after the 34-year-old passed a late fitness test on a shoulder injury, later revealed to be a broken shoulder blade.
Although Cronk, who spent 16 years at Melbourne before joining their rivals, was far from his best physically, his on-field experience played a massive part in helping his new side to their first title since 2013.
They made a great start with Daniel Tupou and Latrell Mitchell both crossing for tries within the first 15 minutes while Mitchell converted one and added a penalty.
Cameron Munster’s sin-binning on 30 minutes allowed Mitchell to extend the lead by a further two points.
Sydney piled on the pressure and a pass from full-back James Tedesco sent Joseph Manu over in the corner and although Mitchell was unable to convert, it left Roosters in a dominant position at the break.
Melbourne tried to challenge the Sydney line after the break but were unable to get the final pass away as the Roosters held firm.
The Storm finally got on the scoreboard on 62 minutes when an errant pass from the otherwise outstanding Luke Keary was intercepted by Josh Addo-Carr and he raced 85 metres for a try, converted by Cameron Smith.
A Keary drop goal eased the Roosters nerves and when Munster was sin-binned for a second time with two minutes to play, Mitchell had the final say with another penalty.