Mon, Oct 02, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Broncos ride out Storm to triumph in Grand Final

AP , SYDNEY

The Brisbane Broncos maintained their perfect record in grand finals in Australia's National Rugby League, beating the Melbourne Storm 15-8 yesterday in the championship match.

Playing before 78,000 spectators at the Olympic stadium, the Broncos sent prop Shane Webcke, a 12-year, 254-match Brisbane veteran, into retirement on a championship note while winning their sixth title in six grand final attempts.

Webcke, who made a barn-storming run just ahead of Brisbane captain Darren Lockyer's late and clinching field goal, also played 20 Test matches for Australia.

Brisbane opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Lockyer kicked a penalty goal from 10m after Melbourne's Billy Slater was ruled by referee Paul Simpkins to have stripped the ball from Shaun Berrigan in the goal area.

Television replays, though, showed that Berrigan, who won the Clive Churchill Medal as most valuable player, had lost possession.

Four minutes later, Storm five-eighth Scott Hill beat three defenders and then passed to winger Steve Turner, who dived into the corner for Melbourne's first points. Cameron Smith missed the sideline conversion, leaving Melbourne leading 4-2.

In the 19th minute, Lockyer ran the ball wide then threw an inside pass to fullback Justin Hodges, who moved through a gap and scored. Lockyer converted to give the Broncos an 8-4 halftime lead.

Melbourne leveled the match at 8-8 when Matt King scored an unconverted try, but the Broncos went ahead 10-8 when Corey Parker kicked a penalty goal with 20 minutes left.

The Broncos increased their lead to 14-8 two minutes later when Brent Tate scored an unconverted try. Lockyer increased the lead to seven points with his field goal with about seven minutes remaining.

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