Storm champion Billy Slater broke down in his post-match interview after the Storm's famous 34-6 mauling of the Cowboys.

Just minutes later he was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as the best player in the 2017 grand final.

When asked about his recovery from missing the 2016 season through injury, Slater had to hold his head in his hands as he struggled to cope with his emotion.

"I didn't really know, mate. Sorry," he told Channel 9's Brad Fittler after choking up.
"I honestly didn't know whether my body would let me back here. It was the toughest thing I had to sit through last year and the boys going so close and being helpless. I wasn't going to let that happen today. Yeah, it's a good feeling, mate."


Slater is reportedly set to play on with the Storm next year, however, he refused to confirm he will remain with the club next season.

"I really don't know, Freddie," he said.

"My body is feeling good, I know it is physical. I love playing this game. I will make a decision

soon. I am feeling good but I will just enjoy this, mate."

Minutes later he again fought back tears when giving his speech after accepting the Clive Churchill medal where he paid special thanks to his wife.

"We have worked really hard over the last 12 months," he said.

"We were here last year and unfortunately we didn't get the chocolates. But we've got a great squad. We've got a few guys that are moving on. To those guys, I wish you all the best.

"Cooper, mate, I've played alongside you for the last 17 years. You've made me a ten-times better player. You have made us a ten-time better team. You were tremendous tonight and I wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do next year.

"I just like to finish off by thanking one more person. And that is my wife. It has beep been a rocky road the last couple of years darl but I couldn't be standing here without your support.

"Thank you for everything that you have done for me over my career. But especially the last couple of years. I love you darl."

Teammate Cooper Cronk also refused to confirm if he will play on for a rival club next season after declaring earlier this year he will be moving to Sydney next year.

"I will celebrate this and wake up were a hangover for a couple of days and have a thinking about it," Cronk said.

"It is hard to give up moments like this. You work extremely hard for it. The satisfaction, there are no words to describe it. It is my last time in a purple jersey and hang with it pride. I have some thinking to do."

Melbourne have sent Cooper Cronk out a winner after routing North Queensland 34-6 to claim the 2017 NRL premiership on Sunday.

A vintage Storm strong-armed their way to a three-try lead at halftime and were challenged when Te Maire Martin sliced through soon after resumption. The Cowboys had a couple of opportunities to reduce the deficit further however were turned away and folded easily as their finals fairytale came to a bitter end.

Dale Finucane restored his team's advantage in the 64th minute and from there the Storm were never threatened as they avenged last year's grand final loss to Cronulla.

Curtis Scott sealed the title - and their 10th straight win - minutes later when Josh Addo-Carr scooped up a Cowboys error deep in their own territory and found his centre.

In front of a crowd of 79,722 at ANZ Stadium, the big three of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cronk then put on their signature three-man play for Addo-Carr to complete a brace.
It was a dominant performance from a team that finished three wins clear of second place in the regular season, ensuring Cronk departed from the club with two titles.

The contest was only four minutes old when the Cowboys copped their first major blow of the night - and it was some friendly fire from Ethan Lowe. The Cowboys second-rower stretched out to tackle a runaway Jesse Bromwich but only managed to swing around, accidentally breaking Shaun Fensom's leg in the process.

Play was stopped for ten minutes as the Cowboys prop was stretchered from the field.
The Bromwich line break was one of two opportunities the Storm had to open the scoring, only for some desperate Cowboys defence to hold firm. It wasn't until the 19th minute that the favourites turned their dominance into points, with a runaway Addo-Carr latching onto a Will Chambers offload to finish a 90-metre movement.

The breakthrough was all Melbourne needed to turn the screws on their opposition as their right-edge ensured an 18-0 advantage at halftime.

First Slater sent Felise Kaufusi in on a right-side shift in the 28th minute, before the Melbourne fullback went through himself on the same play just before the break.