Bega rugby league export Dale Finucane has broken through for his first NRL Telstra Premiership.
"It's the best feeling ever, it's so surreal," Finucane told the ABC after Sunday’s 34-6 result.
The Melbourne lock featured in a clinical performance, scoring a grand final try in his first premiership after four grand final appearances.
"To be involved in those other three and lose them is obviously really disappointing, but to perform the way we did as a team tonight ... is just the best feeling ever,” he told the reporters after the game.
Finucane made 13 runs for a total of 121 metres in his 54 minutes on the grand stage.
His efforts also included 34 tackles as well as his breakaway try, which added a boost to the Storm’s dominant display.
“I think you look at our senior players they're just so calm and guiding us at getting across the field and everyone across the park knows their role,” Finucane beamed during a post-match chat with Andrew Johns.
"It's only about four tries [for the year[ so it's come at a good time,” he added with his trademark grin.
Finucane told the ABC it was the best possible way to send off Cooper Cronk, as well as other players making a move from the club.
"We spoke about that this week — Cooper, and obviously the other guys we've got moving on to other clubs as well," he said.
"To send him out a winner is just the best feeling ever, and to win a grand final and to do it with this bunch of guys is just the best feeling ever."
Finucane keeps a cool head before his games, even on grand final day.
““It’s a pretty relaxed approach, I’m fairly routine about my warm ups on game day,” Finucane said with a laugh.
He said the move to the Storm had been a huge boost to his career, getting more minutes and playing alongside some of the country’s best.
So it’s no surprise he was eager to see Cronk off in style on Sunday night.
“I’ve found the move to Melbourne really rewarding – playing with the likes of Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith,” he said earlier in the year.
Finucane said it was also surreal to know he had family and friends in the crowd cheering him on.
“It’s such a surreal feeling and to have so many supporters at the game, up cheering, it’s a feeling I can’t explain,” he told reporters.
Scoring his try, Finucane said he wanted to be “sure of it” and made sure he got a close-range pass from Cameron Smith.
“I didn’t try to slam it down, I sort of cradled it to the ground to make sure it was going down,” he said.