Cronk leaves Melbourne a champion as Storm dominate Grand Final
Melbourne Storm gave Cooper Cronk the perfect send-off as they dominated North Queensland Cowboys to triumph 34-6 in a one-sided NRL Grand Final.
Shorn of key men Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, the Cowboys had upset the odds simply by reaching the final, having limped to an eighth-place finish in the regular season.
However, Paul Green's side were outclassed at ANZ Stadium as the vastly experienced trio of Cronk, Billy Slater and Dally M winner Cameron Smith guided minor premiers Storm to an emphatic win in their final game together.
Cronk, who is set to move to Sydney due to his fiancee being based in the city, had a hand in four-pointers for Felise Kaufusi and Slater as Melbourne built on Josh Addo-Carr's breakaway score to lead 18-0 at the interval, Smith converting all three tries.
The Cowboys started the second period strongly and reduced their deficit through Te Maire Martin, but the Storm - last year's runners-up - soon wrapped up the game through Dale Finucane and Curtis Scott.
Fittingly, the superstar trio of Cronk, Smith and Slater, whose own future remains uncertain, combined superbly to help set up the game's final try, with Addo-Carr finishing in the left corner.