'Incredible' solo play wins golden point thriller
Melbourne superstar Harry Grant shocked the opposition by scooting from dummy half in golden point.
After a turbulent build-up where players threatened strike action over a pay impasse with the NRL, the season needed to begin with a bang to remind everyone what really matters.
And Melbourne and Parramatta delivered in buckets, playing out a golden point thriller at CommBank Stadium on Thursday night.
The two sides - tipped by most to contest finals later this year - could not be split after 80 minutes, scoring two tries each to be locked at 12-12 when the full-time siren blew.
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A number of field goal attempts were missed - shanked or charged down - and fans were wondering which player would step up and win the game with their boot.
In the end it wasn't a kick at all, but a crafty piece of dummy-half magic from the man widely recognised as the game's best hooker already, Harry Grant.
The 25-year-old Cameron Smith protégé caught the defends - and, possibly, his own teammates - by surprise when instead of passing the ball to a kicker, he scooted through the play-the-ball and shrugged off two Eels before reaching out and planting the ball down on the line.https://twitter.com/ryanpapenhuyzen/status/1631249119829463040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Grant's piece of individual brilliance iced a 16-12 victory for the Storm.
"I was cramping, I knew if I was buggered they (Eels) would be pretty buggered too," he told Nine.
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"I sort of missed one on the play before when we went for the field goal, so I had it in my mind there might be a little opportunity there."
Melbourne legend Billy Slater was not surprised it was Grant who stood tall when it mattered most.
"Every time he puts a jersey on, it doesn't matter what colour it is, he is one heck of a player," Slater said.
"If anyone deserves to win the game for their team tonight, it is Harry Grant.
"This is incredible from Harry, after what he's been through tonight, to win the game."
Andrew Johns remarked, "what a player".
"You don't see the efforts off the ball... what a performance."
Grant made an astonishing 60 tackles, making his 8th minute play all the more impressive.
While they won the game the Storm left CommBank Stadium licking their wounds.
Already faced with a massive injury toll before the game, Xavier Coates, Cameron Munster, and Young Tonumaipea were all busted during the round one contest.
Munster suffered a compound dislocation of hiss finger, which may also be fractured, but played out the game after having it bandaged.
Coates suffered a suspected broken clavicle, while Tonumaipea left the field with blood streaming down his face after a tackle gone wrong.
He did, though, pass his head injury assessment.
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