So proud of my boys: Bellamy
The overwhelming feeling is disappointment but there is a whole lot of pride about the Grand Final performance the boys from Melbourne put on.
A steadfast defensive effort symbolised what this team has been about in a season that provided 21 wins and a minor premiership.
Melbourne overturned an 8-nil defensive effort to hit the front in the second half however a try to the Sharks 11 minutes from full-time sealed the result.
It may leave a sour taste in the mouths of the purple faithful but their coach summed it up perfectly post-match.
“Before the game I was really proud of what these guys had done this year, nothing has changed for me,” Craig Bellamy said.
“At the end of the day we ended up minor premiers, we had the best for and against in the competition, we made our way to a Grand Final. It is hard to get in a Grand Final and it is extra hard to win one.
“Whatever happens I am really proud of what these guys have done this year and tonight doesn’t change that for me.”
Cronulla got the jump early in the contest as they controlled 60% of possession in the first half while Melbourne were forced to make 90 more tackles.
Storm showed enormous heart to get themselves back in the contest but the challenge would slip just out of their reach.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised that we fought back like we did because these guys have been doing that all year, they’ve been fighting all year, they’ve been resilient all year,” Bellamy said.
“It was a tremendous effort to be only 8-nil down at half-time but to actually get in the game and to actually lead, it was a tremendous effort.
“I don’t care what anyone says tonight, no one is going to make me less proud of my boys and what they’ve done this year.
“They’ve been magnificent tonight, they’ve been magnificent for our Club and they’ve been magnificent for our game.”