The 2023 Storm Premiership and Storm Junior League capped off a record-breaking season in style on Saturday, with Riviera Reserve playing host to the 2023 NRL Victoria Grand Final day.
The Waverley Panthers broke a 29-year premiership drought, taking out the Storm Premiership Men’s First Grade competition, clinching a 28-18 win over two-time reigning premiers, Truganina Rabbitohs.
Panthers captain Brad Hill took out Player of the Match honours as the Panthers saved arguably their best game of the year for the big dance, bouncing back from a 28-18 loss to the Rabbitohs in the qualifying final just two weeks prior.
In the Women’s First Grade, a return to the first-grade competition for the Casey Warriors in 2023 was rewarded with a premiership, defeating three-time reigning premiers the Werribee Bears 40-4.
The strong performance was underpinned by a three-try performance from exciting young talent Koreti Leilua, with the Victorian representative player showing no signs of slowing down after stepping up from the Storm Junior League this year.
Reaching record registration numbers in Victoria this season, the day saw finals take place from the Under 13 age-bracket all the way to First Grade, with several games going right down the wire.
Just a few days after Northern Thunder junior Sua Fa’alago lit up the NRL stage with a memorable two-try performance on debut against the Brisbane Broncos, it was another Northern Thunder junior who stole the spotlight, Burnham Salesa slotting a two-point field after the siren to steal victory at the death in the Under 18 Storm Junior League Grand Final.
Storm Premiership Grand Finals - Results
Men's First Grade: Waverley Oakleigh Panthers d Truganina Rabbitohs 28-18
Women’s First Grade: Casey Warriors d Werribee Bears 40-4
Men's Second Grade: Casey Warriors d Sunshine Cowboys 20-8
Men's Third Grade: Frankston Raiders d Werribee Bears 36-18
Storm Junior League Grand Finals – Results
Under 13s Boys: Melton Broncos d Casey Warriors 20-0
Under 14 Girls: Werribee Bears d Truganina Rabbitohs 32-18
Under 14 Boys: Casey Warriors d Truganina Rabbitohs 18-6
Under 15 Boys: Sunbury Tigers d Waverley Oakleigh Panthers 24-12
Under 16 Boys: Northern Thunder d Doveton Steelers 24-10
Under 16 Girls: Casey Warriors d Northern Thunder 34-12
Under 18s Boys: Northern Thunder d Casey Warriors 18-16