The Sydney Roosters have defeated the Melbourne Storm by 15 points after a commanding performance in the 2018 NRL grand final to claim their 14th premiership.
The men from Bondi were boosted an hour before kick-off by the inclusion of Cooper Cronk and never took a backwards step, bullying the Storm up front from the first minute to the last as they dominated the contest.
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While Cronk had few touches of the footy and tried to stay out of the game at times as he worked on protecting his shoulder, his influence on the field was still felt as the Roosters forwards won the game from the outset.
After coming out of the gates strongly, dominating possession in the first few minutes, Latrell Mitchell got the scoring underway for the Roosters with a penalty goal.
It didn’t take long for the tri-colours to increase their lead with a cut out ball ending up on the chest of Daniel Tupou, the big winger streaking away to score.
A penalty to the Storm minutes later threatened to flip the momentum, but another error invited the Roosters back onto the attack and Latrell Mitchell made no mistake in scoring, getting the better of Will Chambers – and not for the last time either.
The Roosters then had a try disallowed and the Storm were able to force their way back into the contest for a brief period.
It didn’t last long though. An error in the 30th minute allowed the Roosters to make a break, with Cameron Munster then sent to the sin bin and the Roosters kicking a penalty goal.
A try to Joseph Manu with a Munster still in the bin sent the Roosters ahead by 18 points at the break, which was a seemingly unassailable lead to bridge for a misfiring Storm outfit.
The second half started on the same script, with the Roosters dominating the contest, but they struggled to find a way over the tryline.
Their defence remained true for the most part though, with only a lapse in concentration at the 62nd minute from Luke Keary, who played a sensational game otherwise, allowing Josh Addo-Carr to run away with an 80-metre try.
It was the only bright spot in a dour night for the Storm, with the Roosters putting the game to bed after a field goal to Keary
Melbourne had more chances to score in the final ten minutes, but couldn’t do so and with time fast becoming the enemy, the Roosters defensive line held strong to ensure a famous victory against the odds.
Cameron Munster would be sent to the sin bin for a second time with a kick just a minute from fulltime, with Latrell Mitchell putting the icing on the cake with another penalty goal.
Sydney Roosters 21
Melbourne Storm 6