Cronulla Sharks junior Curtis Scott celebrated winning the 2017 NRL premiership with Melbourne on Sunday night after the Storm downed North Queensland 34-6 to win the club’s third title.
Scott, who played his junior league with Bundeena and Cronulla Caringbah, scored a try as the minor premiers completed a dominant season with the comfortable 28-point rout of the Cowboys.
The 19-year-old came back from a broken leg suffered in round four last season – against the Sharks – to win his first title.
Scott captained Cronulla to the SG Ball and national championship titles in 2015. He scored a try and set up the match-winner with an offload in the national decider against Townsville and was player of the tournament for NSW at the Australian Schoolboys championships.
Scott also represented the Australian Schoolboys before linking with Melbourne at the start of last season.
Scott crossed in the 67th minute after Melbourne had held an 18-0 lead at half-time thanks to Josh Addo-Carr, Felise Kaufusi and Billy Slater tries.
The Cowboys had a sniff of a comeback eight minutes after the break when Te Maire Martin scored but tries to Dale Finucane, Scott and a second for Addo-Carr sealed the result.
The match was Storm halfback Cooper Cronk’s last for the club as he contemplates retirement or a move to a Sydney-based club. Melbourne fullback Slater was awarded his second Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match.
The Cowboys, who eliminated Cronulla, Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters on the way to the grand final, were brave in defeat. They played with just 16 men for all bar the first four minutes after Shaun Fensom broke his leg in two places when falling awkwardly under a collision with teammate Ethan Lowe.