FOR the first time in Australian rugby league, Cronulla are premiers.
The perennial battlers of the NRL are the champions for the first time, after an inspirational solo surge from forward Andrew Fifita willed the Sharks to their first premiership in their 50-year history.
The Sharks survived a thrilling final few minutes to hold on 14-12 in a famous victory.
In a chaotic finale, the Storm repeatedly threatened to steal the grand final, but the Sharks showed incredible desperation to hold on.
After controlling the game in the first half, Cronulla was forced to come from behind while dealing with several injuries to star players to create history.
It was Fifita’s solo run that will be remembered as the iconic moment of the 2016 grand final.
It was that run in the 69th minute that separated the two teams.
Second-rower Luke Lewis was awarded the Clive Churchill medal as the best player on the field for the grand final.
ANDREW Fifita has put Cronulla back in front in a heart-stopping NRL grand final.
Minutes after Melbourne snatched the lead for the first time, Fifita produced a miracle to split three Storm defenders and stretch over his own shoulder to get the ball over the line.
It was a simple solo run that the Storm could not stop.
Fifita scored between the posts and James Maloney’s conversion put the Sharks in front 14-12 in the 70th minute.
AT the age of 35, Paul Gallen is an NRL grand final winner for the first time in his career.
The inspirational captain broke down in tears after the game and then dropped an F-bomb during a live television interview all in the space of a couple minutes.
Gallen had another huge performance in the Sharks’ famous 14-12 victory.