Cronulla get maiden NRL grand final win

Cronulla have finally broken their 50-year premiership drought with a see-sawing 14-12 NRL grand final victory over Melbourne.

The Sharks, who had been in three deciders since their founding in 1967 but had never won one, have at last broken their duck.

They did it the hard way after the Storm took a two-point lead with just 17 minutes left in the game.

Cronulla started well and took the lead in the seventh minute with a James Maloney goal, after a penalty for a high shot.

They went 6-0 ahead seven minutes later as Ben Barba scored off the back of a brilliant scrum play. Maloney added the extras.

It was all the Sharks in the opening stages with Melbourne on the back foot.

Cronulla had all the possession but couldn’t bag a second try in the first half.

It was a bruising encounter with several players forced from the field with injury.

The Sharks took their 8-0 buffer into the break but the Storm struck early in the second half.

Jess Bromwich barged over and Cameron Smith converted to make it 8-6.

Momentum for the Storm was gathering.

In the 63rd minute Melbourne grabbed the lead as Will Chambers dived over.

Smith converted and the Storm were now 12-8 in front. The tension grew.

But the Sharks weren’t done yet.

Andrew Fifita used all his power and aggression to brilliantly crash through several defenders to tie it up in the 69th minute.

Maloney added the conversion and Cronulla were in front once more at 14-12.

It was enough to get the Sharks home. The Storm pressed for the winner in the final stages but it was not to be.

Cronulla had finally made history.

 

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