That surely puts the doubters to bed - our city is the sporting capital of the world. With all the talk of a scheduling clash across the road, the purple army responded by packing out AAMI Park to create an electric atmosphere that made a significant difference on the night. The 'Melbourne' chants that echoed around the stadium as the game ticked into the dying moments gave you goose bumps. It is fitting that in this Club's 20-year anniversary, such a show of support would be on full display and further cement Storm in the fabric of this incredible city.
By winning on Friday night Melbourne Storm booked a place in their eighth Grand Final in 13 seasons. Regardless of what happens next Sunday, that is an achievement to be incredibly proud of. Craig Bellamy has overseen it all while every player who has donned the purple jersey over that time has done so with nothing but the ultimate success on their mind. Every member of the Storm family knows their role to play over the next week in order to achieve success, now let's do it.
For the second final in a row and of his career, Brodie Croft stood up when his team needed him. The Sharks did their best to test him as the 23-year-old made 23 tackles on the night - the fourth most in the team. However Croft did not take a backward step, it simply is not in his DNA. The young halfback has shown he can perform on the big stage and will have every teammate, coach and fan wearing purple there to support him at ANZ Stadium.
What a way for the champ to sign off in Melbourne. Billy Slater gave his adopted city a performance to remember him by - 189 metres, 11 tackle breaks, two line breaks and two tries - all game high numbers. It was like a maestro conducting his encore to a standing ovation. There will never be another Billy and possibly never another sportsman who would become so loved in a once foreign city but one thing is for sure, Billy will always be Melbourne's No.1.