Melbourne Storm 28 (Chambers 2, J.Bromwich, Cronk, Tonumaipea tries; Smith 4 goals)
St George Illawarra Dragons 24 (Farrell, Morris, Merrin, Beale tries; Widdop 4 goals)
A stunning after-the-siren try to Melbourne Storm winger Young Tonumaipea has stolen victory from the St George Illawarra Dragons at AAMI Park tonight.
With the game over according to the Fox Sports clock, the Storm kicked to the right, before the ball was swung back to the left and Tonumaipea scored in the corner to finish what was one of the games of the season; the Storm led early, trailed at half time and fell 14 points behind early in the second half before staging a miraculous comeback.
The Dragons scored first via Dylan Farrell in the 5th minute but Widdop’s conversion sailed wide. The Storm hit back through Jesse Bromwich, converted by Cameron Smith to make it 6-4 to the home side after 17 minutes.
In the 30th minute a Slater grubber was spilled by Josh Dugan and Storm centre Will Chambers juggled the ball before planting it down. Smith missed the conversion for a 10-4 score line.
With 5 minutes left in the half, Slater spilled a bomb and Beale found an unmarked Morris who stepped inside the Storm defence for a great Dragons try. Widdop converted make it 10 all before kicking a penalty goal in the dying stages of the first half to give his side the lead, 12-10.
A brilliant run by Dugan gave the Dragons great field position early in the second half and a neat interchange of passes between Morris and Beale saw Beale crash over for a try. Widdop converted to make it 18-10 as the Dragons chased their first win in Melbourne since 1999.
Things looked good for the visitors when Trent Merrin took advantage of another spilt bomb by the Storm, scoring under the posts. Widdop’s conversion made it 24-10 with 28 minutes left.
With 14 minutes left, Chambers raced onto a superb Cronk ball to score his second. Smith converted to make it 24-16 and a few Dragons fans would be getting nervous.
When Ben Roberts set up Cronk in the 69th minute they would be more than a little nervous, the Storm right back in the match and following Smith’s conversion, trailed by just two points.
Despite the Fox Sports clock reading 80 minutes, the Storm were allowed a final roll of the dice and Cronk kicked across to the right, before the ball found it’s way back to the left where Cronk found Ryan Hoffman who passed to an unmarked Tonumaipea for the match winner.
Despite the loss, the Dragons can be proud of their efforts, and will go into next week’s clash against a hot and cold Warriors outfit full of confidence. The Storm showed why they have been the benchmark for nearly a decade, showing complete professionalism and class with the game on the line.
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