Mitch Dransfield reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
|4th||Try Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (North Queensland)||North Queensland 4-0|
|7th||Josh McGuire (North Queensland) – SIN BIN||North Queensland 4-0|
|9th||Try Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne)||Scores tied 4-4|
|10th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 6-4|
|13th||Try Tino Faasuamaleaui (Melbourne)||Melbourne 10-4|
|15th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 12-4|
|26th||Try Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne)||Melbourne 16-4|
|27th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 18-4|
|37th||Try Cameron Munster (Melbourne)||Melbourne 22-4|
|39th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 24-4|
|44th||Try Cameron Munster (Melbourne)||Melbourne 28-4|
|46th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 30-4|
|57th||Try Esan Marsters (North Queensland)||Melbourne 30-8|
|58th||Goal Valentine Holmes (North Queensland)||Melbourne 30-10|
|62nd||Try Kyle Feldt (North Queensland)||Melbourne 30-14|
|67th||Try Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne)||Melbourne 34-14|
|68th||Goal Cameron Smith (Melbourne)||Melbourne 36-14|
|69th||Try Valentine Holmes (North Queensland)||Melbourne 36-18|
|70th||Goal Valentine Holmes (North Queensland)||Melbourne 36-20|
On a dry track on the Sunshine Coast, the visiting Cowboys were able to score off a grubber to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who found the line for a 4-0 score after just four minutes. A sin-bin for dissent for Josh McGuire in the seventh minute allowed the Storm to post two easy tries with no resistance from their opposition to lead 12-4. The Cowboys were unable to hold possession and spark anything in attack. Melbourne capitalised on their ball in the opposition half, with Josh Addo-Carr and Cameron Munster combining with Cameron Smith to go forward 24-4 at the break.
After a poor first half, the Cowboys brought some energy and control into their game. A lazy defensive effort close to the line allowed Munster to leapfrog a defender to score his second and give Melbourne a 30-4 lead. The Cowboys fought back, using their possession well with two quality tries from their backs to pull the score to 30-14. Errors and set restarts allowed Melbourne to get the ball in good field position, with Jahrome Hughes – from an offload – gliding through for another four points to Storm. Sweeping to their right edge, the Cowboys linked with Scott Drinkwater, giving the ball onto Valentine Holmes to barge over for the scores to be 36-20 with 10 minutes left. The Storm closed out the match from then on, completing their sets and kicking out for time to pass to win 36-20. However, there were concerns with the number of errors in the match, which will be a focus point post-match.
This fixture’s highlight came in the 44th minute, with Cameron Munster scoring through a quick play-the-ball from his outside backs: he gathered the ball to skip along to the Cowboys’ try line. The Melbourne five-eighth dodged lazy defenders and leapfrogged another over the goal line to push the score out of reach of their opposition.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Nicholas Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. Interchange: 14. Ryley Jacks 15. Darryn Schonig 18. Tom Eisenhuth 20. Tui Kamikamica.
North Queensland Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 16. Tom Gilbert 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 11. Gavin Cooper 14. Daejarn Asi 15. John Asiata 17. Corey Jensen.