Melbourne Storm won a hard fought 20-14 victory over New Zealand Warriors on Anzac Day at AAMI Park today in the second of today’s NRL Anzac Day games.
Melbourne had Cameron Munster starting in the halves alongside Coooper Cronk, pushing Ryley Jacks onto the bench. Kenny Bromwich was replaced in the second row by Joe Stimson.
The Warriors brought in New Zealand Test star Ben Matulino onto the bench for his first game of the 2017 season and he replaced Charlie Gubb.
The Warriors were first on the scoreboard when David Fusitua touched down following great work from Blake Ayshford, with Shaun Johnson adding the goal to give them a six-point lead after ten minutes.
And the Warriors continues to play well and dominate the rucks, but were hampered by giving away needless penalties, which ultimately led to the Storm’s equalising score when giant forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona barged over the line, with Cameron Smith’s goal equalising the scores. Johnson and Smith added a penalty apiece to make it 8-8 at the break.
The Warriors move ahead 12-8 when Fusitua scored his second try on 43 minutes, after smart play by Johnson, but the Storm were level again when Will Chambers made a break and passed to the supporting Cooper Cronk for the try, although Smith couldn’t convert.
The Warriors went ahead again when Johnson kicked a penalty, but in a seesawing game the Storm went back in front after some spectacular play led to Josh Add0-Carr scoring in the corner. Smith was again unsuccessful with the kick and the Storm now led 16-14 after 66 minutes.
And in the 77th minute it was Smith who created the winning try for Felise Kaufusi from a quick play-the-ball and Smith’s failure to add the conversion once more didn’t matter in the end, as the Storm held on for victory in front of 22,153 spectators.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 William Chambers, 4 Cheyse Blair, 5 Joshua Addo-Carr, 17 Cameron Munster, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 19 Joe Stimson, 13 Dale Finucane, Interchange: 6 Ryley Jacks, 14 Christian Welch, 15 Timothy Glasby, 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 Blake Ayshford, 3 David Fusitua, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Kieran Foran, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Bodene Thompson, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Simon Mannering; Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache, 16 Liligiifo Sao, 17 Samuel Lisone, 18 Ben Matulino.
Full coverage of all the weekend’s action can be found in this week’s issue of League Express