Miserable final for Graham

PA Sport
James Graham's Canterbury Bulldogs side lost the NRL final

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James Graham's Canterbury Bulldogs side lost the NRL final

England forward James Graham suffered a sixth consecutive Grand Final defeat as the Canterbury Bulldogs went down 14-4 to the Melbourne Storm in the NRL decider in Sydney.

The former St Helens captain, who lost five consecutive Super League Grand Finals up to last October, could be facing more misery after he found himself at the centre of an extraordinary biting allegation.

Graham, who has made a big impression in his first season with the Bulldogs, was put on report following a fracas that erupted after Canterbury scored their only try through wing Sam Perrett in the 26th minute.

Melbourne full-back Billy Slater claimed he was bitten on the ear and television slow-motion replays appeared to point to Graham, evoking memories of Mike Tyson's famous ear-biting attack on Evander Holyfield in 1997.

Graham is due to link up with England for their training camp in South Africa next week but, if he is found guilty and suspended, he could miss the autumn internationals against France and Wales.

Melbourne quickly put the incident to one side as they went on to secure a famous victory in front of an 82,976 crowd to break a 13-year title drought.

Stripped of their 2007 and 2009 premierships due to major breaches of the salary cap, the Storm finally added a second title to their 1999 premiership courtesy of tries from former Wigan second-rower Ryan Hoffman, Slater and wing Justin O'Neill.

Their victory would have been even more emphatic but for an off day with the boot by captain Cameron Smith, who succeeded with just one of his four attempts at goal.

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