Cronulla have ended a half-century premiership drought with a heart-stopping 14-12 grand final win over a valiant Storm outfit to claim the 2016 NRL Telstra Premiership – the first in the club's history.

The two heavyweights could barely be separated after 80 minutes with Melbourne bashed and starved of football in a one-sided opening 40 before storming back like a true champion team to claim the lead just 15 minutes from full time before a late rally handed Cronulla a famous win.

Cronulla players collapsed after a dramatic final play movement from Melbourne saw the ball pass through countless pairs of hands as they searched for the miracle play to still a win on the final siren but on a historic night at ANZ Stadium in front of a heaving crowd of 83,625 it was Cronulla's fairytale that came true.

Skipper Paul Gallen – the most experienced player ever to play in his first grand final – was in tears after the siren as he expressed his gratitude to his teammates.

 

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