Melbourne Storm won the top-of-the-table clash at AAMI Park today, beating Sydney Roosters 16-13 with the aid of a controversial penalty try and a late touchdown from forward Joe Stimson.
The Storm made two changes from their published team, with Jahrome Hughes replacing Brodie Croft at stand-off and Nelson Asofa-Solomona starting at prop, with Tim Glasby moving onto the bench.
The Roosters made two changes, wth Ryan Matterson starting in the centres, Latrell Mitchell shifting to the wing and Joseph Manu moving to the bench. Kane Evans replaced Victor Radley on the bench.
The penalty try was awarded to Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu after he was illegally taken out by Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell.
Cameron Smith had already kicked two penalty goals and the try took the Storm’s lead out to 10-0 after the conversion.
But a try to Roosters stand-off Luke Keary, converted by Mitchell, reduced the half-time deficit to four points.
In the second half Smith added a penalty for Melbourne before the Roosters responded through Mitch Aubusson, with Mitchell converting from touch to level the scores on 61 minutes.
When Keary snapped a field-goal with seven minutes remaining the Roosters looked to be in the driving seat, before Stimson took a short pass from Cooper Cronk to touch down in the face of two Roosters defenders to snatch victory for the Storm.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 19 Jahrome Hughes, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 15 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Joe Stimson, 13 Dale Finucane; Interchange: 14 Kenny Bromwich, 10 Tim Glasby, 16 Jordan McLean, 17 Slade Griffin
Tries: Vunivalu (penalty try), Stimson; Goals: Smith 4
Roosters: 1 Connor Watson, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 16 Ryan Matterson, 4 Mitchell Aubusson, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Isaac Liu; Interchange: 2 Joseph Manu, 14 Zane Tetevano, 15 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 18 Kane Evans
Tries: Keary, Aubusson; Goals: Mitchell 2; Field goal: Keary
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL matches will feature in Monday’s issue of League Express, available in the shops and online from Sunday evening.