SYDNEY - It won't bring back the stripped premierships, but Melbourne finally have something to show for their era of NRL dominance after clinically disposing of a resolute Canterbury 14-4 in Sunday's grand final.
Their 2007 and 2009 titles taken off them due to salary-cap breaches, the Storm finally have a second NRL premiership to their name after a drama-charged night at ANZ Stadium that included a biting allegation against James Graham that evoked memories of Mike Tyson's famous ear chomp on Evander Holyfield.
This too was a heavyweight bout for the ages in front of 82,976 fans - the Bulldogs weathering wave after wave of Melbourne attack that on any other night could have ended the contest by halftime.
As was always going to be the case, Melbourne's big three of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater - who were all involved in those stripped premiership triumphs - were pivotal to the cause.
The trio have denied this was a title charge motivated by redemption for those denied titles, but their performances proved otherwise and Smith admitted a part of him made this victory extra special.
Cronk was the mastermind, brilliantly setting up two of Storm's three tries - including one for a free-running Slater.
Smith's off night with the boot — he was successful with just one of five kicks at goal — helped keep the Bulldogs in the contest, but he and Slater also came up with the defensive plays to set up the win.