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Melbourne may have won the grand final but Cameron Smith did not use his on field post match interview to call time on his illustrious career.
Smith was one of the Storm's best players in the 26-20 win – in which he eclipsed the all time point scoring grand final record.
Cameron Smith on the Melbourne Storm victory lap.Credit:Getty Images
"But we grew as a unit this year and there are connections in this team that we will have the rest of our lives. No matter where we are in this country or where we are in the world in the future, we will always have a connection to 2020 and the team that performed tonight."
Clive Churchill Medallist Ryan Papenhuyzen was emotional just minutes before being awarded one of the game's highest individual honours.
"I'm so emotional. Oh, wow," Papenhuyzen said. "The whole day was just the unknown. You don't know what's going to happen.
"You're so confident in the boys but [Penrith] coming off 17 in a row, it's the most butterflies I've ever had.
"These boys – we've done it so tough this year because back home, they're doing it a lot tougher than we are. That's unbelievable. I'm so proud of the boys and I never thought I could do one of these. We've done it."
Papenhuyzen bought surplus tickets to the match for one reason.
"I made sure I bought heaps of tickets in a good section because you don't know how many grand finals you're going to play," he said.
"I'm so happy [my family] are here. I wish I could go give them a hug. We're going to celebrate alright."
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