BRETT FINCH and Cooper Cronk were slumped against the far wall of Melbourne’s dressing room, hugging the NRL premiership trophy. Greg Inglis was resting against a different wall, motionless and expressionless from fatigue. Dallas Johnson’s cauliflower ears were bleeding, his nose was flattened and he was having a glass of white wine. Ryan Hoffman was off-his-head delirious.And right down the back of the room was Steve Turner after his last emotion-charged game for Melbourne before his departure to the Bulldogs next season, soaking up his last night in a Storm dressing room, coming to grips with his departure from the premiers after six years on their flank.”Toughest player I’ve ever seen,” Hoffman said. ”We’re going to miss him. He’s been a mate, a great footballer, one of those close friends you feel lucky to have.”If anyone deserves to go out on a high note, it’s Steve Turner. With all his injuries and everything – he’s the toughest teammate I’ve had, I’ll stand by that.”For a winger it might sound surprising, but that’s what I think of him. His nickname is Zapper, he fills the joint with energy. He’s upbeat and we’re going to miss him.”In the middle of the revelry is Will Chambers. He’s off to rugby and the Queensland Reds.”It’s amazing right now, I’m lost for words,” he said. ”I’ve got to soak it up. I’m with my mates. That’s a game I’ll remember for a lifetime and cherish for a lifetime. I’m going out on the best possible note. I’m not sad to be going, this is the perfect way to go out. I just want to thank rugby league for giving me a feeling like this.”Storm players mobbed Turner at full-time. Everyone wept. ”I’m sure I’ll cry when we have our ‘preso’ night on Friday night,” Turner said. ”I could not have scripted this. To go out on the highest possible note with a group of players I’ve gotten to know like brothers for the last six years, it’s a fairytale for me and something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I really love this club and I’m so grateful for the opportunities they’ve given me.”It can’t have ended so well. It’s sad but life goes on, you keep moving on. The salary cap didn’t allow me to stay here but there’s no use complaining. The Dogs are a club on the way up.”Turner’s bond with Storm coach Craig Bellamy runs deeper than the normal player-coach relationship.”Yeah, I heard what he said about me being like a son,” Turner said. ”Craig dug his heels in three years ago with all the Gold Coast stuff and he’s always backed me 100 per cent. I’m very thankful and grateful to have played under such a wonderful coach for six years. I’m going to enjoy the week but I’m sure there will be a few hugs and tears when we get to the end of the week on Friday night. They’re good tears, they’re all good.”
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