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League wins in Victoria - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sun, 30 Sep 2007 23:42:00 GMT
Melbourne have won their second rugby league premiership after knocking over Manly 34-8 in the the 2007 NRL Grand Final at Telstra Stadium.

This year’s minor premiers – who only lost three games this season (one of those against Manly) simply looked too strong for the Sea Eagles from the opening kick-off.

Ahead 10-4 at half-time, the Storm quickly buried Manly in the second half thanks to tries to Michael Crocker, Matt King, Clint Newton and Anthony Quinn.

It was the perfect ending to a tumultous year for Storm second-rower Clint Newton who arrived at the club mid-season after leaving Newcastle on less then amicable terms.

Newton now has two premiership wins next to his name while former coach Brian Smith still has none.

Centre Matt King – who last year refered to referee Paul Simpkins a ‘dickhead’ at a post-Grand Final function – this year told the media he ‘loved everybody’ after the game.

Five-eighth Greg Inglis – who bagged his 7th try of the season – was awarded the Clive Churchill Year and upstaged critics who questioned his ability in the number 6 jersey.

Storm captain Cameron Smith brought magnificent leadership to the side yet kicked only 3 goals from eight attempts to the disbelief of his biggest fans.

Manly's only points came through tries to centre Steve Matai and winger Chris Hicks.

Any hope of a Manly comeback vanished when fullback Brett Stewart was knocked out after fielding a towering Inglis bomb just after the break.

Stewart copped a huge hit from Michael Crocker and was forced to miss the rest of the game.
Warrington bound Matt King scored a try in the 54th minute to ensure his last game with Melbourne was a memorable one.

Premiership number two for Melbourne will help erase any nightmares from their 2006 loss to Brisbane in the Grand Final.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy paid tribute to his players.


"Some of these guys have worked hard for five years," he said.

“Maybe I've got a bit of a monkey off my back from last year. Everyone was saying we were going to choke again this year.

"These guys are great. They have been a credit to the club all year."


Their second premiership in only 10-years – after beating St George in 1999 – will certainly have people wondering exactly what affect this will have on the popularity of the NRL in AFL dominated Victoria.

Last weekend’s preliminary final clash between Parramatta and Melbourne drew 33,427 fans to the Telstra Dome, the biggest crowd the victorian Rugby League team has ever played in front of.

When that attendance figure is compared to 36,534 fans who attended the clash between Hawthorn and Adelaide in week 1 of the AFL finals series, the theory that Rugby League is making in-roads into Aussie Rules territory isn’t so farcical.

Will the NRL champions get a parade in the streets of Melbourne? And what sort of crowd would turn up for that? All exciting questions for the the game of Rugby League.
Melbourne Storm 34 (Anthony Quinn (2), Greg Inglis (2), Michael Crocker, Matt King, Clint Newton tries; Cameron Smith (3/8) goals) d Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 8 (Steve Matai, Chris Hicks tries; Matt Orford (0/2) goals) at Telstra Stadium. Referee: Tony Archer. Missed Tackles: Manly 57-28. - Read More, Here