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To quote the wider rugby league public, "just hook it to our veins".

Thursday's Storm-Roosters clash - the latest in an epic modern rivalry fast requiring a new testament to be penned - has left NRL fans, players and powerbrokers in raptures.

The first 70 minutes were fantastic on their own. The last 14, a frantic form of madness rarely seen.

Adding further drama, Ryan Papenhuyzen's thrilling field goal with 10 seconds remaining was tinged with controversy as a possible Brandon Smith knock-on leading up to it was picked up by eagle-eyed Roosters fans.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley on Friday said he was comfortable with referee Ashley Klein's decision.

"While there could be a slight hint of a bobble as Smith places the ball on the ground, it certainly isn't clear-cut … It would have been splitting hairs, and just as controversial, had it been ruled as a lost ball or knock-on.

NRL world reacts to Storm-Roosters showdown

"I thought the referee contributed enormously to one of the great games of the past decade and it doesn't deserve to be diminished by such microscopic scrutiny."

So, directs its scrutiny elsewhere, breaking down the key moments and hidden magic in a downright phenomenal finish.

The moments that mattered in the epic finale

69 minutes and 53 seconds: The one blemish in Kyle Flanagan's otherwise superb night off the tee, and only by the barest of margins. If his conversion attempt from one metre in from touch – attempting to add the extras to Josh Morris's second try of the night – holds its line, the Roosters extend their lead to 12. Roosters lead 22-12

Flanagan miss leaves the door open

Storm coach Craig Bellamy: "When we were 10 points behind it would have been easy to say, 'we know the calibre of this team we're playing, they've been head and shoulders above every team since we've come back from the break', but to their credit they kept fighting."

70.01: From the restart, Cameron Smith's short kick-off is claimed by Daniel Tupou, but his captain Boyd Cordner is pinged for blocking Suliasi Vunivalu out of contesting the ball.

70.47: From the resulting set, Brandon 'the wheel of cheese' Smith gets Melbourne rolling with two critical charges that bend the best defensive line in the league. His second carry requires three Roosters defenders to stop him under the posts, with Nat Butcher and Jake Friend both tied up in the ruck.

Cameron Smith: "There was plenty of time on the clock and I just had belief and we all had belief that we could come up with something," Cameron Smith in an interview with Channel 9 after the game.

71.05: Next play, after hitting three straight lead runners, Cameron Smith goes out the back to Jahrome Hughes. Butcher is scrambling to get back into shape after Brandon Smith's carry, and with Luke Keary stretched to cover outside defenders, Hughes steps twice inside to dot down. Smith converts. Roosters lead 22-18

Brandon Smith digs deep to help put Hughes over

Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary: "The Jahrome Hughes [try] was uncharacteristic for us but we made ourselves defend for long periods of time in the second half through errors."

72.40: Nelson Asofa-Solomona produces two big carries in one set as Melbourne go 80 metres from the kick-off. Both make around 10-12 metres and the second run is key as NAS gets a very quick play the ball with only one marker, allowing the Storm to come calling down the short side.

NAS keeps the Storm momentum rolling

72.56: Now just 20 metres out, Ryley Jacks kicks across-field for a rare spill by Daniel Tupou. Former Rooster Paul Momirovski steps two defenders after collecting the Steeden and scores. Cameron Smith's conversion from out wide sneaks in off the right upright. Storm lead 24-22

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves also leaves the field at this point for an HIA and is done for the night. It's a big blow for the Roosters middle considering this is where Melbourne's comeback originates. 

77.38: A Luke Keary bomb falls short of where he originally targets, and is allowed to bounce after landing in no-man's land between Vunivalu and Momirovski, just inside right-hand touchline. In the scramble to get Tupou's bat-back Vunivalu tackles James Tedesco without the ball.

Without a moment's hesitation, Flanagan grabs the ball and lines up the clutch shot, one 10 metres further back than the attempt he barely missed eight minutes earlier. The kid nails it despite Hughes trying to distract him with a dubious YMCA performance. 24-24

Flanagan nails pressure penalty to level scores

78.50: The Roosters are working out of their own end when Jake Friend feigns right out of dummy-half and darts left to link with Keary and Cordner. The back-rower does well to hold a bullet ball at his shoulder. Next play Butcher gets an offload away despite being driven back by three defenders, with Tedesco getting in behind the ruck afterwards. The two plays march the Roosters 35 metres downfield when they could've easily broke down.

Friend, Cordner get Keary into position

79.11: Flanagan sets up directly in front of the uprights, but Friend goes deeper and on a more acute angle to Keary, who belts home a 33-metre field goal. Roosters lead 25-24

Luke Keary: "We've had so many close games with them so I knew it wasn't over. I knew they were going to kick to Suli [Vunivalu] on that short kick-off."

79.25: Another short kick-off from the Storm and surprisingly another spill from Tupou – his two errors under the high ball could well be the only ones he registers for 2020.

79.51: Brandon Smith takes the lead run from Melbourne's resulting possession. He has a slight fumble in play-the-ball, though whether his hands come off the ball is a matter of opinion.

Cameron Smith goes to dummy-half with Hughes and Jacks standing at first receiver either side of ruck. Neither are deep enough to take a field goal shot. Instead it is Ryan Papenhuyzen emerging as a fourth option standing off-centre, 30 metres out and kicking the first field goal of his career. 25-25, end of regulation time

Papenhuyzen sends it to golden point

Cameron Smith: "He's been practising a fair bit, so hard work pays off and it was nice to get a good win against the team I rate as the best team in the comp."

80.45: Melbourne dominate the all-important yardage battle upon the resumption, with their two sets gaining 50 and 55 metres respectively, while restricting the Roosters to just 35 metres when they have the ball.

83.06: As a result Boyd Cordner is deep in his own territory when he takes a carry. 

Head knock ends Cordner's night

In what Trent Robinson describes as a "head slam", he hits the turf very heavily and is also cut above the eye from a head clash with Hughes. Cordner is unsteady on his feet and duly fumbles his attempt at a play-the-ball.

The Roosters are in all sorts as front-rower Poasa Faamausili replaces their inspirational skipper and Sitili Tupouniua comes on as Tupou also succumbs to an ankle injury. Mitch Aubusson shuffles into the backline with Josh Morris moving to the wing.

83.50: In the next set Cam Smith takes one step out of dummy-half and double pumps – drawing marker Siosiua Taukeiaho in slightly and allowing Dale Finucane to charge into the backfield.

Taukeiaho is still involved in the tackle but the lion's share is left to Friend, who is outweighed by 20 kilos and unable to stop Finucane from getting a quick play-the-ball in prime field position.

Smith releases Finucane to draw crucial penalty

As a result Friend overdoes the wrestle and shoves Finucane to the ground, conceding the match-deciding penalty.

Cameron Smith closes out one of rugby league's greatest finishes with the shot from in front.

Andrew Johns, in commentary on Channel 9, said: "That was something special tonight that you can talk about for a long time."

Eight key moments that mattered in the Storm-Roosters classic

Since Robinson took charge of the Roosters in 2013, their rivalry with Craig Bellamy and Melbourne has evolved into one of the all-time classics.

When golden point kicked off the combined scorelines across 16 clashes stood at Roosters 281, Storm 281.

No wonder rugby league was left craving more after this one.

Re-live the final minutes of the Storm-Roosters thriller

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.