Melbourne's big three ...  Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.

Melbourne's big three ... Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk. Photo: Getty Images

1. Billy Slater. Had a shaky start and was subjected to some unwanted attention from the sideline-bound James Graham before recovering for a crucial try. Saved some of his best work to stop Josh Morris scoring a second-half try. 8/10

2. Sisa Waqa. Easily outpointed his opposite number in a solid, if somewhat unnoticed, performance. 6/10

3. Dane Nielsen. Got off to an inauspicious start when he caught aball which was going out on the full, but recovered to be always involved. 6/10

4. Will Chambers. Great defence throughout and caught Ben Barba in-goal more than once. Also showed some muscle with the ballin hand. Strong display. 7/10

5. Justin O'Neill. Scored a try on the stroke of half-time to top off a great performance in the opening 40 minutes. 7/10

6. Gareth Widdop. A great tackle on a runaway Sam Perrett almost certainly saved a try on the half-hour mark. Was among the Storm's best. 7/10

7. Cooper Cronk. Beautiful kicking game led to O'Neill's try, and some stylish play led to the second from Slater. A worthy recipient of the Clive Churchill Medal. 9/10

8. Jesse Bromwich. Made 19 tackles and chipped in with plenty of metres. 6/10

9. Cameron Smith (c). Typically solid from dummy half although goal-kicking was uncharacteristically off throughout the match. If he'd had his kicking boots on, the game would have been just about done not far into the second term. 7/10

10. Bryan Norrie. Looked to have scored the match winner in the 68th minute before it was disallowed. It would have been a worthy reward for a strong effort in both attack and defence. 7/10

15. Kevin Proctor. A late call-up to the starting side, Proctor showed some solid defence in the early stages. 6/10

12. Ryan Hoffman. Ran some good lines, none more so than the opening try. Also solid in defence. 7/10

13. Todd Lowrie. Made plenty of tackles as well as 13 hit-ups, a tough effort in the engine room. Does a lot of the hard work. 6/10

Bench

14. Ryan Hinchcliffe. Second only to his captain on the tackle front despite starting on the bench. 6/10

11. Sika Manu. Finished in the middle of the field for both tackles and metres run in his stints on the pitch. 6/10

16. Jaiman Lowe. Didn't get a huge chance to shine. 4/10

17. Richie Fa'aoso. Finally got on the field in the second half, spilled the ball just shy of the line but it didn't hurt his side too much. 5/10

JAMES POLSON Twitter @polso22