Melbourne Storm comes from behind to suppress the Gold Coast Titans and win 10-8 at CBUS Super Stadium on Saturday night.
A slow start for both sides was soon over when young sensation Alexander Brimson began to damage the line and score only 4 minutes into the game for the Titans. Penalties compiled for the Storm and Gold Coast extended the lead to 8-0 in the 12th minute. After a scrappy performance by Storm in the first half, they came out in the second to have Billy Slater set up Curtis Scott for their first try. Suffocating the Titans out of the contest with scores 8-4 the Melbourne side parked at their opposite end before Cameron Munster broke through a scrambling defensive line to take Storm to 10-8. The last 20 minutes was held out by the visitors with the coast unable to convert their chances to points and Melbourne to finish winning by two.
STORM PREVENT UPSET
Struggling early in the contest, with a Storm-like performance many were not impressed by had them down at the halftime break 8-0. An attention to completion and punishing the middle forwards for Titans paid off for Melbourne in the second half with Scott and Munster breaking the shackles to find hard tries in a dower game for the ladder leaders. Preventing an upset at the hands of Gold Coast the Storm will have huge concerns on their sides will to get back in a grand final nearly losing to a 12th place team 2 weeks from finals.
TITANS HOT AND COLD
The home side looked impressive coming off a huge win the week previous to Manly away continued it against the Storm on Saturday. The halves in Kane Elgey and Ash Taylor were making the right plays capitalising on many uncharacteristic errors by the Storm, producing a lovely assist from Elgey setting up Brimson for their first try. Titans left the first half with an intent that looked like one of the upsets of the season was on against 1st place Melbourne, however with a lack of discipline in defence and not taking their little chances the coast went from hot to cold very quickly allowing the visitors to win ugly.
SLATERS LAST GAME IN QLD
In what was a respectable crowd at CBUS Super Stadium, Billy Slater turned on a spectacle only he could produce for his last match played inside Queensland for his career. The retiring fullback recorded his first game with over 250 run metres, with a huge total of 302 metres from 27 runs. Slater was dynamic in producing 2 linebreaks with his signature sweeping movements with 9 tackle breaks along with 82 post contact metres terrorising the Titans in what was a perfect send-off for his home state.
MINOR PREMIERSHIP WRAPPED UP
The Minor Premiership looks all but wrapped up by the Melbourne Storm once again. The Victorian club has recorded a trifecta of Minor Premierships with the last two going to them in 2016 and 2017, as well replicating what the Sydney Roosters had achieved throughout 2013,14 and 15. They return home for the Penrith Panthers in the last round who are battling for a win to get their season back on track but you would think its going to be nearly impossible with the Storm eyeing off 1st in a season the reigning premiers have had to truly battle for.
Goals: Taylor 2/3
Tries: Scott, Munster
Goals: Smith 1/2
Titans: 1. Alexander Brimson, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Konrad Hurrell, 4. Brenko Lee, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Kane Elgey, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Ryan James (capt), 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Keegan Hipgrave, 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange:14. Mitch Rein, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Jack Stockwell, 17. Will Matthews
Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Cheyse Blair, 3. Justin Olam, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 15. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Joe Stimson, 13. Dale Finucane
Interchange: 10. Tim Glasby,14. Tui Kamikamica, 16. Kenneath Bromwich, 19. Sam Kasiano