The NRL grand final was only three minutes old when the night went from bad to worse for the North Queensland Cowboys and their star prop, Shaun Fensom, who suffered two breaks to his leg in a collision with teammate Ethan Lowe as they tried to tackle the Storm’s Jesse Bromwich.
Fensom went to the ground in agony after Lowe’s body swung around in the tackle and over the top of the prop’s left leg.
Play stopped for nearly 10 minutes while Fensom was treated on field, calling immediately for pain killers before being stretchered off the field on a medicart. The 28-year-old Cowboys workhorse did his best to gee up Cowboys supporters with a thumbs up as he left the field, raising smiles from the team box, including star playmakers Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, sidelined with injury.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) October 1, 2017
Subsequent examinations revealed he’d broken both the tibia and fibula on his left leg.
Bromwich burst through the disastrous tackle and was headed for the tryline when a desperate tackle from behind by Jake Granville brought down the Storm prop who spilled the ball.
But the rest of the night belong to Melbourne, who won 34-6 in a fitting farewell for the Storm’s star trio of Clive Churchill medallist Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, and Cooper Cronk, who played their last game together after 14 years in which they made the southern team a powerhouse of modern rugby league.
The Storm have now won three premierships — 1999, 2012, 2017 — and been runners up three times — 2006, 2008, 2016 — in the Slater/Smith/Cronk era, having been stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships for salary cap breaches.
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