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Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu.

Player ratings for the Melbourne Storm team in their Telstra Premiership grand final clash with Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium.

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen: Best on ground. Produced a burst of speed and perfect pass to create the night's opening try and a scintillating 70-metre run for the first try of the second half. Finished with over 200 metres and was consistently a threat from the backfield. Remarkable jump to prevent a Panthers penalty kick finding touch after the game was decided. 9/10

2. Suliasi Vunivalu: Game-breaking from the wing. His opportunistic long-range intercept try was one of the great grand final plays. Finished with nine busts, almost 180 run metres but a few questionable moments in defence. 8

3. Brenko Lee: Like his outside man Vunivalu, had some shaky moments in defence but still made plenty of tackles and carried close to 100 metres. 5.5

4. Justin Olam: A fairly quiet outing from the in-form PNG international with just seven runs and 10 tackles, though he scored the early penalty try to get the ball rolling. 6

5. Joshua Addo-Carr: Some nice work to help create the first try but hardly saw any ball after that with just 50 run metres. 5.5

Vunivalu picks off a Cleary pass

6. Cameron Munster: A fairly quiet game in terms of impact but plenty of nice little touches and asked plenty of questions while also solid in defence. Light years better than his previous grand final effort in 2018. 6.5

7. Jahrome Hughes: Made into a target by a hard-running Viliame Kikau and held his own despite a few missed tackles. Deserved a try assist for second-half grubber to Vunivalu. Not as game-breaking as his preliminary final effort but a fine performance nonetheless. Was perhaps unlucky to end the game in the sin bin but was lucky it didn't prove costly. 7

8. Jesse Bromwich: Only used for 38 minutes but plenty of little moments of quality in his 80 metres and 30 tackles. 7

9. Cameron Smith: if it was indeed his last game, what a way to go out. Scheming around the ruck, astute kicks from dummy-half when they were needed, and a rare game-breaking try right on half-time. Kicked some important goals in the first half before the score blew out too. What a performance. 8.5

10. Christian Welch: Recovered well from an early error and then HIA to push out 57 minutes, a team-high 42 tackles and 130 metres ahead of what will surely be an inclusion in the Maroons Origin squad. 8

11. Felise Kaufusi: Missed a match-high five tackles and aside from a late line break didn't cause too many problems with ball in hand. 6

12. Kenny Bromwich: Had a couple of handling errors including a costly one with the Storm attacking early but otherwise a steady presence on the left edge. 6

Papenhuyzen breaks through

13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona: Absolutely potent performance in the middle. Strong early then taken off after just 17 minutes but came back even stronger before the break including a monster carry to create Smith's try. Finished with 118 metres, six busts and 25 tackles. 8.5

14. Brandon Smith: Brought on very early and brought immediate energy. That spell lasted just 10 minutes thanks to a HIA but returned strongly to finish with over 100 metres in his 35 minutes. 7

15. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui: Only six runs and four tackles in his 22 minutes. 5

16. Dale Finucane: Was brought on very early and added a steadying presence to the middle of the field after a frantic start to the match with 24 efficient tackles and 89 metres in his 53 minutes – plus one very handy kick. 7

17. Nicho Hynes: Never got on the field. NA

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

Bunker overturns on-field decision and awards try to Smith

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