Monday?s Expert League
Wrap - Grand Final

Brisbane Broncos have claimed their sixth champion?s crown, defeating the Melbourne Storm 15-8 in the 2006 NRL Grand Final at Telstra Stadium last night. While Melbourne will ponder the ?what ifs? over the off season, they will come away as a more experienced outfit. Meanwhile Brisbane will celebrate long and hard into the week with the enviable record of having never lost a grand final.

It was a fairytale farewell for champion prop Shane Webcke, playing his final match for the Broncos. Born in Toowoomba, Webcke played 21 State of Origin matches for Queensland and made 18 Test appearances for the Australia. He has appeared in no less than four grand final wins including the 2000 victory where he played with a broken arm. Debuting in 1995, Webcke retires on a tremendous high with 254 first grade appearances.

It was yet another grand final victory for Wayne Bennett who has surpassed Ken Kearney and Jack Gibson as the game's most successful coach. Kearney, who at 82-years-old passed away last August, captained the St George Dragons to six grand final victories from 1956-61 - five of those victories were as coach. Jack Gibson has coached the Roosters, St George, the Rabbitohs, Newtown, Parramatta and the Sharks from 1967-1990. Now 77-years-old, Gibson has five grand final victories with the Roosters and Parramatta.

Bennett?s achievements with the Broncos elevate him to the champion coach of this generation and one of the best in living memory. Not too shabby.

The Melbourne Storm will be doing it tough. Runaway minor premiers, the southern franchise fell in the match that mattered most. Storm Coach Craig Bellamy, Bennett?s understudy at the Broncos, will take the lessons from the grand final loss and no doubt build a better football team for 2007.

The form team of 2006, Melbourne had dropped only four games all season and were an incredible 12 points ahead of their grand final opponents on the NRL ladder. They came into the decider as deserving favourites, albeit less experienced. On several occasions they were on the raw end of refereeing decisions but at the end of the day, they failed to lift to the occasion and paid for the lack of execution and patience at crucial stages. The old Bronco warhorses took full advantage with experience winning the day.

All match results and details are listed below.


MATCH RESULTS - Grand Finals Wrap - 1 October 2006
Venue: Telstra Stadium
Crowd: 79,609

National Rugby League

Brisbane Broncos: 15
Tries: Justin Hodges, Brent Tate
Goals: Darren Lockyer 2/2, Corey Parker 1/2
Field Goals: Darren Lockyer
Melbourne Storm: 8
Tries: Matt King, Steve Turner
Goals: Cameron Smith 0/1, Matt Geyer 0/1
Half time: Broncos 8-4
Referee: Paul Simpkins players of the match:
3 - Shaun Berrigan (Broncos)
2 - Shane Webcke (Broncos)
1 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)

NSWRL Premier League

Parramatta Eels: 20
Tries: Marcus Perenara(2), Henry Perenara
Goals: John Williams 3/4
Field Goals: Marcus Perenara
Newtown Jets: 19
Tries: Aiden Kirk, Troy Malcolm, Charlie Tonga
Goals: Josh Lewis 3/4
Field Goals: Josh Lewis
Half time: Jets 18-16
Referee: Shayne Hayne players of the match:
3 - Marcus Perenara (Eels)
2 - Josh Lewis (Jets)
1 - John Williams (Eels)

NSWRL Jersey Flegg

Penrith Panthers: 22
Tries: Michael Jennings, Liam Campbell, Jaye Martleitner, Wiremu Weepu
Goals: Matthew Forwood 3/4
Newcastle Knights: 20
Tries: Akuila Uate, Callan Richardson, Terence Seu Seu, Scott Dureau
Goals: Luke Walsh 2/4
Half time: Knights 14-12
Referee: Steve Lyons players of the match:
3 - Jarrod Sammut (Panthers)
2 - Scott Dureau (Knights)
1 - Jaye Martleitner (Panthers) players of the match are decided by our live score updaters.

Game 1 - Saturday 14th October 2006
New Zealand v Australia
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

The 2006 Tri-Nations will be run over seven matches culminating in the Tri Nations Final in Sydney on the 25th November. Reigning champs New Zealand will be defending their title against Australia and Great Britain. will be covering all the Tri-Nations clashes with up-to-the-minute live scores.
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