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Storm close ranks to enjoy the moment

Date

Glenn Jackson

Ring of confidence ... the Storm toast their victory.

Ring of confidence ... the Storm toast their victory. Photo: ANZ Stadium

IF THE match was for Melbourne's premiership winners akin to the perfect Storm, what came afterwards was surely the perfect circle.

Just metres from where they had gathered before kick-off, in a huddle, to prepare for the grand final, the Melbourne players returned to the centre of the field and formed another circle. This time, with hardly another soul in ANZ Stadium, they gathered in their suits and with their premiership rings, a portable Esky and the premiership trophy alongside them to toast their win.

At 10pm on Sunday, they gave themselves a moment of reflection.

But not too much. This was not about the past, nor was it about the future. Cameron Smith, the Melbourne captain and hooker, spoke to them about the moment.

''I was talking about the next 20 minutes,'' Smith said. ''I think it's important that we enjoy it, enjoy what we've achieved, and enjoy the next week.

''There are going to be plenty of celebrations, a lot of fanfare down in Melbourne when we get back. I think it's important that we do that.

''I spoke for a minute or two, and Craig [Bellamy] had a few words.

''It was just a captain-coach sort of thing - we just passed on our thoughts of the season, and [Sunday night], and how proud we were of the result.''

Interchange player Ryan Hinchcliffe said: ''He [Smith] just said enjoy it - these times don't come along very often. Soak it up - we worked hard for it, and enjoy every second of it.''

As they did after winning the 2009 grand final against Parramatta, the players gathered in the middle of the field, sipped on their beers and sang their team song.

''It's just a little thing that we have - it's the first time we have to ourselves after we finish the game,'' Smith said. ''When we get back into the sheds, there's a lot of people in there, our family and friends and media and NRL staff. It's just a time to have a chat about what we just achieved, how hard we had to work to do what we did, and reflect on the season we had, acknowledge a few people just to show how important they were to the success this year.''

Smith said his speech was a little different from his 2009 words.

''This team's been through different challenges - particularly this year; it was quite tough for this group, coming through Origin, dealing with five losses in a row,'' Smith said.

''A lot of people were doubting our ability, but we came through.''

What has become a theme for the Storm over the course of their successful era has been the inevitability that the final match of their season would also be the final match at the club for many. On Sunday, Sika Manu, Todd Lowrie and Dane Nielsen played knowing they would be opposing the Storm next season, while prop Jaiman Lowe would be watching from retirement. Smith singled him out at the end of his speech.

''I spoke about the boys moving on, and I singled out Jaiman Lowe, playing his last game,'' Smith said. ''He's just finished his career, and I've got no idea of the thoughts going through his head, and how he's feeling at the moment. Hopefully I've got a couple of years left, but he's just played his last match, and he's a premiership player now.''

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs WAR 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs WAR 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WAR 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Stats
STG 10 vs MAN Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WAR vs BRI 12:00MSS
SYD vs CBR 14:00AS
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs MEL 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
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Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs SOU 16:00ANZ
GCT vs BRI 20:35Cbus Super Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
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NEW vs STG 19:30HS
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 16:00AS
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
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MEL vs WAR 17:00AAMI
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Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 19:35SUN
CRO vs NEW 19:35Remondis Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
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WAR vs WST 17:30MSS
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Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 19:35ANZ
STG vs BRI 19:35Jubilee Oval
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GCT vs PEN 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
NQL vs WAR 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
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NEW vs PAR 16:00HS
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CRO vs SOU 19:00Remondis Stadium
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Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:45ANZ
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WAR vs GCT 12:00MSS
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SYD vs STG 16:00AS
MEL vs MAN 18:15AAMI
BRI vs PAR 20:00SUN
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Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
SYD vs WST 19:35AS
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
CRO vs WAR 17:30Remondis Stadium
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MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
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GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
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MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
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WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
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NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
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Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
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Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
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Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
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Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
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CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs WAR 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
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MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
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STG vs SYD 19:00AS
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
WAR vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
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CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
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STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
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MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
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Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
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NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
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Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
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WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
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SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
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Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
WAR vs CRO 22:00MSS
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STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
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Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
WAR vs STG 22:00MSS
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NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
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MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
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CBY vs GCT 00:00To Be Confirmed
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs WAR 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
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CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
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Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WAR vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
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NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
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Round 26
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