During the season, the members of the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies voted to form another joint venture, to be named the Wests Tigers. After the conclusion of the season, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Sydney Bears were excluded from the premiership. The Bears would later form the game's third joint venture with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, whilst South Sydney would fight a two-year legal battle for reinclusion.
The defending premiers, Brisbane endured their worst ever start to a season, with just one win and a draw from their first ten games. Their champion halfback and captain Allan Langer retired mid-season as a result. The Newcastle Knights also lost an iconic player when 1997 premiership captain Paul Harragon retired mid-season. The Melbourne Storm's premiership victory saw their captain Glenn Lazarus become the only player to ever win grand finals for three different clubs.
|Auckland Warriors||Balmain Tigers||Brisbane Broncos||Canberra Raiders|
|Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs||Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles||Melbourne Storm|
|Newcastle Knights||North Sydney Bears||North Queensland Cowboys||Parramatta Eels|
|Penrith Panthers||Sydney City Roosters||South Sydney Rabbitohs|
|St. George Illawarra Dragons||Western Suburbs Magpies|
|6||St. George Illawarra||24||15||0||9||2||588||416||+172||34|
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|Sydney City Roosters||8–12||Canterbury Bulldogs||3 September 1999||Sydney Football Stadium||Sean Hampstead||23,478|
|Melbourne Storm||10–34||St George Illawarra Dragons||4 September 1999||Olympic Park||Steve Clark||22,053|
|Parramatta Eels||30–16||Newcastle Knights||4 September 1999||Parramatta Stadium||Bill Harrigan||15,653|
|Cronulla Sharks||42–20||Brisbane Broncos||5 September 1999||Shark Park||Tim Mander||13,713|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||28–18||Sydney City Roosters||11 September 1999||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||31,506|
|Canterbury Bulldogs||22–24||Melbourne Storm||12 September 1999||Sydney Football Stadium||Steve Clark||20,075|
|Parramatta Eels||16–18||Melbourne Storm||18 September 1999||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||27,555|
|Cronulla Sharks||8–24||St George Illawarra Dragons||19 September 1999||Stadium Australia||Steve Clark||51,827|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||18–20||Melbourne Storm||26 September 1999||Stadium Australia||Bill Harrigan||107,558|
|Melbourne Storm||Position||St. George Illawarra|
|Robbie Ross||FB||Luke Patten|
|Craig Smith||WG||Jamie Ainscough|
|Aaron Moule||CE||Paul McGregor (c)|
|Tony Martin||CE||Shaun Timmins|
|Marcus Bai||WG||Nathan Blacklock|
|Matt Geyer||FE||Anthony Mundine|
|Brett Kimmorley||HB||Trent Barrett|
|Glenn Lazarus (c)||PR||Craig Smith|
|Richard Swain||HK||Nathan Brown|
|Rodney Howe||PR||Chris Leikvoll|
|Stephen Kearney||SR||Lance Thompson|
|Paul Marquet||SR||Darren Treacy|
|Tawera Nikau||LK||Wayne Bartrim|
|Matt Rua||Bench||Craig Fitzgibbon|
|Russell Bawden||Bench||Colin Ward|
|Ben Roarty||Bench||Brad Mackay|
|Danny Williams||Bench||Rod Wishart|
|Chris Anderson||Coach|| David Waite|
The Dragons were up 14-0 at half time, with a converted try and penalty goal to Craig Fitzgibbon, and a converted try to Nathan Blacklock. However, an Anthony Mundine knock-on over the try line early in the second half proved to be a major turning point in the match, with Melbourne running in tries through Tony Martin and Ben Roarty and winger Craig Smith kicking two penalty goals. An unconverted try to Dragons captain Paul McGregor couldn't stem Melbourne's momentum, with Craig Smith kicking the Storm to within four points of the Dragons at 18-14.
In the 77th minute the Storm forced the Dragons to a goal line dropout. Melbourne's halfback Brett Kimmorley then bombed to Craig Smith's wing. Dragons centre Jamie Ainscough, anticipating a Melbourne try, caught Smith in a head-high tackle over the try-line, resulting in Smith knocking on. Referee Bill Harrigan requested video referee Chris Ward adjudicate on the decision. In one of the most infamous grand final incidents, the Melbourne Storm were granted a penalty try, drawing them level with the Dragons. Being a penalty try, the subsequent conversion was taken from directly in front of the posts. Matt Geyer was successful in the conversion and the Storm, for the first time in the match, pulled ahead of the Dragons and took out their first grand final 20-18.
The Storm thus became the quickest expansion team to win a premiership, eclipsing the Canterbury side who won the 1938 premiership in just their fourth season. It was the last game of champion prop and captain Glenn Lazarus, who retired after a remarkable fifth grand final victory (having won premierships in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993).
For traditional St George fans the loss was hard to take. The Dragons were unsuccessful in their four previous visits to the grand final (1985, 1992, 1993 and 1996) and had not won a premiership since 1979.
Melbourne 20 (Tries: Martin, Roarty, Smith - penalty try; Goals: Smith 3/4, Geyer 1/1)
St George Illawarra 18 (Tries: Fitzgibbon, Blacklock, McGregor; Goals: Bartrim 2/3, Fitzgibbon 1/1)