Sydney - The
Sydney Roosters won their first premiership in five years on Sunday
after outclassing the Melbourne Storm 21-6 in the Australian rugby league
The Storm, seeking to become the first team since the Brisbane
Broncos in 1992-93 to win back-to-back premierships, had no answer for
the dominant Roosters.
They were kept scoreless in the first half as the Sydney side put
away three tries to be up 18-0, led by man-of-the-match Luke Keary who
had an impeccable kicking game.
"I can't talk. It's so good. We started so good, that first half...
We have hung in in the second half," the Roosters' co-captain Boyd
Cordner said after the game.
The Storm looked better in the second half and Josh Addo-Carr got his
team on the scoreboard after an 80m intercept try.
But cheered on by a partisan Sydney crowd of more than 82 000 at ANZ
Stadium, the Roosters added to their score in the second half with one
penalty and a field goal.
Cooper Cronk, who was only cleared to play early on Sunday after a shoulder injury, was key to the Roosters' success.
"We had to make up a game plan where we protected him (Cronk) as much
as possible. We executed that but we knew defence would win it,"
"It will come out later but he actually broke his scapula. It's a big performance by Cooper that will go down in history.
"From the start of pre-season we've been working on that for a few
years to put in a performance like that on the biggest stage. It's
The 34-year-old Cronk orchestrated the play before going off in the
78th minute. He became the first player to claim back-to-back
premierships for different clubs since Johnny Mayes when he joined the
Roosters from Manly in 1973-74.
It was a disappointing end for star Storm fullback Billy Slater, a
16-year veteran who played more than 300 games in his NRL career.
"They were better than us in the first half and they got out to a big lead and we couldn't pull them back in," Slater said.
"We tried our best, but that is the way it goes sometimes."
In the first-half, Daniel Tupou scored the first try for the Roosters
before up-and-coming star Latrell Mitchell added to the tally for the
red-white-and-blues down the same left side.
Joseph Manu scored after James Tedesco called the play down the right-hand side, and passed for Manu to score easily.
The fate of five-eighth Cameron Munster summed up Storm's night, after he was sent to the sin bin twice - once in each half.
The Roosters had won 13 premierships before this final, last lifting the trophy in 2013.
The team from the eastern suburbs of Sydney were also crowned minor
premiers after finishing the regular season at the top of the table.