As the 2023 Melbourne Storm squad prepare for the Club’s 23rd run toward ultimate glory, take a look back at Storm’s Finals moments of the past that have created the inspiring legacy our current players will chase over the coming weeks.
At the time it was dubbed a comeback story ‘worthy of any Hollywood script’.
Following a shoulder reconstruction that saw Billy Slater sidelined for almost two years prior, sailing over the try-line in the first half of the 2017 Grand Final, the fullback solidified a comeback unlike any other.
The try itself had a classic set-up; Cooper Cronk passes to Slater, Slater fakes a pass before making a beeline through the North Queensland Cowboys defence.
Executed to perfection, it wasn’t just a try he had secured, but the confirmation that the legend was back.
“I remember we had a bit of luck over on the right-hand side. A bit of joy,” Slater reminisced.
“I went through there once and really got the upper hand early. Once we were in that position, we just put the foot on the throat and were pretty ruthless.”
The cherry-on-top came when Slater was awarded the Clive Churchill medal for best on ground.
“To put himself in that position, to play the way he did in that Grand Final, and to pick up the best on ground was outstanding,” reflects former Captain, Cameron Smith.
“I think that meant a lot to him. It certainly meant a lot to all of us.
“It was a great moment for him personally and teammates aside, being a mate, it was fantastic to see because I know how hard he worked to get back there.”