Christopher Rooney reviews the Melbourne Storm hosting the Gold Coast Titans at their Sunshine Coast “home away from home”. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Reimis Smith (18), Brandon Smith (25), Trent Loiero (28), George Jennings (53)
Goals: Nicho Hynes (19, 26)
Tries: Greg Marzhew (14), Brian Kelly (41), Jarrod Wallace (56)
Goals: Jamal Fogarty (58)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Jahrome Hughes (Storm)
2 pts – Brandon Smith (Storm)
1 pt – Jarrod Wallace (Titans)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Gold Coast started with the ball but a sneaky one on one strip from Brandon Smith, gave the Storm a perfect opportunity to put some points on the board first. The Titans showed strong defence to start the match with some early pressure on them and were able to survive after a penalty was given away from Justin Olam.
Back to back penalties awarded to the Titans gave them easy metres to the Storm’s goal line. The Storm showed themselves some great goal line defence by tackling Philip Sami out of bounds and putting the pressure back onto the Titans.
The Titans showed really good signs to start the first 15 minutes of the half, putting plenty of pressure on the Storm and were able to receive back to back goal line drop outs. Finally the Titans were able to crack the Storm with Greg Marzhew scoring on debut in the corner.
It didn’t faze the Storm as after great line break from Jahrome Hughes to get out of there own end, Reimis Smith scored giving the Storm the edge by leading ahead by two.
The Storm gave the Titans plenty of opportunities but when the Titan gave the Storm a small window, they capitalise. Brandon Smith scored on the 5th tackle right on the Titans line, something he is very familiar with doing now days.
The Storm now on a roll, were hard to stop and the Titans defence started to crack. Trent Loiero scored his second try of his career and the Titans had no answers for the powerful run by Loiero.
The Titans were gifted an easy opportunity to put some points on the board with less than one minute to go, but struggled to make the most of the opportunity.
HALF-TIME: Melbourne Storm 16 Gold Coast Titans 4Embed from Getty Images
The Storm on the first set offloaded the ball and gave the ball straight to the Titans. It was a tough moment for Dale Finucane and a tough start to the second half for the Storm. The Titans scored on the first set on six with Brian Kelly chasing the ball down to score the first try of the second half.
The Storm were struggling to get out of the own end and were looking rattled. However, a fantastic cut out pass to George Jennings from Nicho Hynes, had the Storm on the board again.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona would of like to have to have his moment back again after dropping the ball right after the kick off. The Storm continue to give away lazy high tackle penalties and the pressure was right back on them.
No Storm player was able to stop Jarrod Wallace who just stormed over the line to bring the margin back down to six.
It became an arm wrestle with the Titans holding onto the ball for the majority of the time and continuing to build pressure. Reimis Smith was sent to the sin bin but the Storm defence stood up by putting the pressure back onto the Titans with less than 10 minutes to go.
Both sides were struggling in attack and the Titans had more than enough attempts to score, but fail each time. The Storm were able to hold off the Titans and win their 10th straight match and 23rd straight match in Queensland.
FULL-TIME: Melbourne Storm 20 Gold Coast Titans 14
Kenny Bromwich (Storm) – ribs
Match Review Committee
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm) – Grade 1 High Tackle Careless – Early Guilty Plea $1,900 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $2,550 fine.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Storm) – Grade 1 Contrary Conduct – Early Guilty Plea 1 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 1 match ban.
Reimis Smith (Storm) – Grade 2 High Tackle Careless – Early Guilty Plea 2 match ban, Guilty at Judiciary 2 match ban.
Patrick Herbert (Titans) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Other – Early Guilty Plea $1,150 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $1,500 fine.