Brad Inger reviews the Melbourne Storm’s clash with the Gold Coast Titans. Here’s how the match went.
|20th||Try Cameron Munster (Storm)||Storm 4-0|
|21st||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 6-0|
|26th||Try Brian Kelly (Titans)||Storm 6-4|
|27th||Goal Ashley Taylor (Titans)||6 All|
|29th||Try Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)||Storm 10-6|
|30th||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 12-6|
|36th||Try Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm)||Storm 16-6|
|37th||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 18-6|
|42nd||Try Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm)||Storm 22-6|
|43rd||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 24-6|
|49th||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 26-6|
|64th||Try Brenko Lee (Storm)||Storm 30-6|
|73rd||Try Brandon Smith (Storm)||Storm 34-6|
|74th||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 36-6|
|76th||Try Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)||Storm 40-6|
|78th||Goal Cameron Smith (Storm)||Storm 42-6|
The Titans started this match physical but let themselves down with their handling, allowing the Storm to dominate the territory in the early stages. Jahrome Hughes appeared to have scored four minutes in, but a knock-on gave the Titans a slight reprieve. Gold Coast showed some promise, surging up the field but once again were let down by their hands. Melbourne had no trouble charging down the field but uncharacteristically found themselves struggling to convert their chances into points. The Titans looked to have scored the first points of the match after receiving a kick restart, but for the second time this match the try was unsuccessful due to a knock-on over the try-line. Points were finally scored in the 20th minute by the Storm, taking advantage of another Titan handling error, when Cameron Munster crashed over after a short pass by Cameron Smith to score. It only took 5 minutes for the Titans to respond with Brian Kelly diving on a loose ball in the in-goal area in a play that may be spoken about after that game where it looked like Kelly may have pushed Paul Momirovski out of the way illegally, the Bunker deemed it okay, and the Titans were on the board with Ashley Taylor converting the try and levelling the scores. Undeterred Melbourne appeared to be back to their clinical ways when Josh Addo-Carr scored in the corner after a nice cutout pass from Munster, handing the Storm the lead back once again. Another Titans error gifted the Storm good field position, and it didn’t take long for them to score with Nelson Asofa-Solomona barging over in an impressive display of strength. Gold Coast had one last attempt to reduce the margin but ran out of time as the Storm went into the break ahead 18-6.
The Storm kept the pressure on right out of the gate, and Asofa-Solomona was at it again taking advantage of a mismatch in the defensive line to stretch the lead even further. Moments later it looked like another certain try for Melbourne when Momirovski ran for 70 meters, but the Titans showed heart and managed to stem the flow of points albeit only for a few minutes as Smith kicked a penalty goal directly in front of the posts after Tino Faasuamaleaui was pushed when playing the ball. A penalty against Addo-Carr for tackling in the air gave Gold Coast a great chance to attempt a comeback, but poor fifth tackle options from Taylor saw them fail to add to their points tally. After trading a few sets with neither side breaking through, the Storm was at it again with Brenko Lee diving over in the corner after Hughes took advantage of a poor defensive read from rookie Treymain Spry. Melbourne continued to attack the Titans line, and it looked like the Titans were going to hold them out with some spirited defence until Brandon Smith spotting a slow marker and darted from dummy half to add another try to the tally. Minutes later Addo-Carr intercepted the ball to run 60 metres to score his second for the night handing the Storm a relatively easy 42-6 victory.
The highlight of the match was Nelson Asofa-Solomona’s second try in the opening stages of the second half. It was a career first double for the monster prop and a perfect way to cap off his impressive performance. It also ensured that momentum was squarely in the Storms hands and with the Titans error count continuing to rise, defeat never appeared to be an option for the Storm in their first match at their adoptive home ground.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Ryans Papenhuyzen, 2. Paul Momirovski, 3. Justin Olam, 4. Brenko Lee, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Brandon Smith, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Dale Finucane, 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui, 16. Marion Seve, 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 18. Albert Vete
Gold Coast Titans: 1. Corey Thompson, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Phillip Sami, 5. Treymain Spry, 6. Ashley Taylor, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Erin Clark, 10. Jaimin Jolliffe, 11. Beau Fermor, 12. Keegan Hipgrave, 13. Jai Arrow, 14. Tanah Boyd, 15. Tyrone Peachey, 16. Sam Lisone, 17. Jarrod Wallace