Melbourne Storm hung on to beat Manly Sea Eagles 26-30 today at Lottoland (Brookvale Oval), but, after leading 12-30 after 39 minutes, they survived a stirring Sea Eagles’ fightback and just held on to win.
At the start of the game Manly’s kick-off went out on the full and in the next set Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu scored from a Billy Slater pass.
The Storm extended their lead when centre Young Tonumaipea scored after nine minutes, and six minutes later they were 14 points ahead when Vunivalu grabbed his second try, taking a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick to touched down .
And after 18 minutes the Storm’s other winger Josh Addo-Carr got in on the action to score next to the posts, although Cameron Smith’s poor afternoon with his kicking boots meant that the score was 0-18.
Manly got on the scoresheet after 22 minutes when Frank Winterstein went over, with Dylan Walker adding the goal, and then Jorge Taufua got over from close range to make the score 12-18.
But in the final ten minutes of the half the Storm added two more tries, both of them from Felise Kaufusi, and this time Smith was able to add the conversions.
Manly hit back just before the interval when Brian Kelly went over in the background to make it 16-30 at the break.
In the second half Jake Trbojevic from a pass by his brother Tom, but soon afterwards Billy Slater pulled off a brilliant tackle on Kelly just when he looked like scoring.
But Manly scored their fifth try of the afternoon from Brenton Lawrence, who reduced the deficit to four points with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The Sea Eagles tried hard to get on terms, but Melbourne held them out to register their sixth win of the season.
Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Dylan Walker, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Blake Green, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (C), 8 Brenton Lawrence, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Addin Fonua-Blake, 11 Frank Winterstein, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Jake Trbojevic; Interchange: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Jackson Hastings, 16 Darcy Lussick, 17 Lloyd Perrett.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Young Tonumaipea, 4 Cheyse Blair, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Ryley Jacks, 7 Cooper Cronk, 21 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (C), 10 Jordan Mclean, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Kenny Bromwich, 13 Dale Finucane; Interchange: 8 Tim Glasby, 14 Christian Welch, 16 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 20 Cameron Munster.
A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express