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Storm to face Sharks in NRL grand final

Melbourne can stamp their reputation as the greatest team of the NRL era after moving into next week's grand final with a tense 14-12 win over Canberra.

The turning point came in the 59th minute on Saturday night when Raiders star Jack Wighton, with his team down two points, was sin-binned for holding down a breakaway Marika Koroibete.
Centre Cheyse Blair went over in the ensuing set, sending the 28,161 crowd at AAMI Park into raptures, and the Storm to their first grand final since their 2012 triumph.

Skipper Cameron Smith then kicked his team to an eight-point lead with a penalty goal.
Raiders winger Edrick Lee bombed a chance not long after, before Elliot Whitehead set up a grandstand finish with four minutes left on the clock.

But the minor premiers held on, booking a spot in Sunday week's decider against Cronulla at ANZ Stadium and celebrating Cooper Cronk's 300th game with a win.

Melbourne star Cooper Cronk has likened this year's Storm team to their triumphant 2012 NRL outfit - maybe even a little bit better.
The Storm will take on Cronulla in what will be Melbourne's first grand final since lifting the Provan-Summons trophy with a victory over Canterbury four years ago.
Five players remain from that Melbourne squad, not including injured star Billy Slater, however the 32-year-old Cronk believes this year's version isn't too different.
If anything, the Storm halfback reckons they're a more balanced outfit this time around.
"It's pretty similar in terms of its playing roster, but we're also rock solid through our middle defence, we've also got some athleticism on the edges," he said.
"It's pretty similar to the Cronulla team, to be honest."

Playing in their first preliminary final in almost two decades, Canberra appeared on their way.
But in a show of big-game experience, the Storm almost pulled one back through Tohu Harris in the 27th, before milestone man Cronk did it all himself five minutes later.


The grand final will be the second time the Storm have progressed through to the decider since being infamously stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships.
Since then, they haven't missed the finals, strengthening their claim as the best side in the NRL era under the tutelage of Bellamy.

THE Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm will face off in the 2016 NRL grand final at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on Sunday, October 2.
The Sharks are looking for their first premiership, while the Storm last tasted success in the 2012 grand final.




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