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NRL Match Reports

Four Pointers: Melbourne Storm 34 Gold Coast Titans 16

The Storm have too much class
Despite being heavy under dogs, the Titans came to AAMI park determined to put up a fight, and there resilience paid off when they took the lead 10-6 after 22 minutes of play. The Titans looked like they were on track to head into the half time break with the lead, before Melbourne showed their pure class, laying on 2 tries in 5 minutes to go into half time with an 18-10 lead. From then on the Storm took control, blowing the Titans defence away with finesse in the second-half.

Ashley is Taylor-made for NRL
With the Titans losing halfback Kane Elgey to a season-ending injury in the pre-season, many questioned if young recruit Ashley Taylor was mature and strong enough yet to play NRL. The 2015 Under-20’s player of the year has shown that he can handle the step up, as he put a beautifully weighted grubber in to set up the Titans first try, adding to his 2 try assists from last week. His kicks were accurate all night, forcing repeat sets, and he also showed great courage to make an excellent one-on-one try saving tackle on the much larger Kevin Proctor.

No Slater, No Worries
Storm sensation Cameron Munster was once again incredible when given the opportunity to play fullback, deputising for the injured Billy Slater. Munster was comfortable under every high ball the Titans aimed at him, and he showed slick skills to dummy his way past defenders for a try. His exceptional form will be of great relief to Storm fans, who once dreaded the day that Slater would retire and leave the Melbourne fullback role vacant.

Titans can keep their heads high
Although the final scoreline doesn’t reflect it, Titans fans can find solace in their teams performance, given the quality of the Storm side. The Gold Coast did very well to not only compete with the Storm in the first half, but actually hold onto the lead briefly. It will take time for a team with 9 new faces to gel, but Neil Henry’s team is already exceeding the extremely low expectations that most fans had for them.

Brock joined NothingButLeague in 2015 and is an aspiring sports journalist who supports the Gold Coast Titans.

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