Melbourne Storm 15
Tries: Mann 2, Chambers
Goals: Cronk 1
Field goals: Cronk 1
Brisbane Broncos 8
Goals: Parker 2
Field goals: nil
As Brisbane fans bid farewell to a veteran of the game in Justin Hodges, they welcomed a NRL debutant Ashley Taylor, standing in for injured halfback Ben Hunt on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.
The home team were first to put points on the board with a penalty goal by Corey Parker after Melbourne’s Ryan Hinchcliffe tackled Anthony Milford late.
In the 19th minute the pressure mounting on Brisbane became too much when Melbourne’s Kurt Mann crossed over after Cameron Smith threw a superb cut out pass from dummy half. Smith was unable to convert, however Melbourne was still able to take the lead 4-2.
Ten minutes later, young Taylor’s debut was unfortunately cut short when he was taken from the field with a hand injury.
In the 34th minute the Broncos were given an off side penalty, which saw Parker level the score up the to 4-all.
In the final minute of the half Melbourne performed one of their well rehearsed plays which guided Will Chambers over in the right hand corner. Conversion was unsuccessful, Storm lead 8-4 leading into half time.
Melbourne’s Mann of the moment (pun intended) scored his second of the night in the 53rd minute after a bomb from Blake Green. Smith’s conversion was successful, extending Melbourne’s lead to 14-4.
After a number of penalties kept Brisbane on the Melbourne try line, the Broncos finally went in to score their first try of the night in the 63rd minute through winger Jack Reed. Parker was unable to convert, 14-8 with Melbourne still in the lead.
In the 66th minute Brisbane’s fullback Darius Boyd received a heavy hit while running the ball after the kick off and was taken from the field with a concussion.
With ten minutes to go Cooper Cronk kicked a field goal to extend Melbourne’s lead by seven, which closed out the game with a Storm victory, 15-8.
The end result was a sign that the Broncos struggle without a regular half back as their kicking game was non existent and they appeared disorganised.