Slater, Cronk face tough decisions amid NRL premiership euphoria

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Melbourne Storm gave Cooper Cronk the ideal send-off as they dominated North Queensland Cowboys to triumph 34-6 in a one-sided NRL Grand Final.

"I really don't know yet (if I'll retire), but my body's feeling really good and I'll make a decision soon". With NRL Grand Final fever causing such a stir, take a few moments to look beyond the on-field highs and lows, to what supports and unites many players in the NRL community.

One of the power couples of the NRL, Nicole and Billy Slater met when they were just 14 while at pony club. In a big game like that against a really good team ... when you're playing a team like that you can't have things go against you like that.

Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster described Morgan as the form player of the competition while halfback Cooper Cronk argued his opposite number had surpassed him on current form.

Having created a bubble to keep the outside noise away, Paul Green and his side have orchestrated one of the most impressive finals campaigns in the NRL era. "A lotta hard work", Storm fullback Billy Slater said of both his personal and team journey in season 2017, a kid in each arm, as he teared up.

That's thanks in large to his powerful 92kg frame, which means Morgan is just as capable of powering through the defensive line as he is of throwing a pinpoint flat ball to send a teammate through a gap.

US ambassador: Israel Occupies 'Just Two Percent' of West Bank
His use of "two percent" particularly angered Palestinians who released statements blasting Friedman's comments just hours later. Palestinians, however, point out that Israel controls Area C - which makes up approximately 60 per cent of the entire area.


After a stalemate that stretched almost 20 minutes, the Storm took control of the first half, with Josh Addo-Carr's stunning opener setting the tone for the evening.

'12 months ago you had a suit on, did you think you'd get back here?

Yet they face a ferocious challenge from North Queensland Cowboys, the plucky underdogs that continue to astound pundits and fans alike with their fairy-tale run of results.

If he does play on in 2018 he'll join the 300 game club. Considering they lost 26-8 the last time these sides met suggests that everything will need to go right if the Cowboys are to pull off the upset.

The Storm, who finished in first place during the regular season, led 18-0 at halftime.

The Cowboys, at the end of an injury-hit season that included losing captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, suffered another blow in the final, losing prop Shaun Fensom to a broken leg in the third minute. You can catch all the action on nzherald.co.nz's live blog, as well as live commentary on Radio Sport.Where should I put my money?North Queensland are paying as much as $5.50 to win by 1-12 points so if you think we're in for a repeat of the 2015 decider when they pipped Brisbane by a point you can have a flutter there.

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