Brad Inger reviews the Warriors vs Storm clash on the Central Coast. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Ken Maumalo (60, 76, 78)
Goals: Kodi Nikorima (8, 79)
Tries: Dean Ieremia (22), Brandon Smith (27), Josh Addo-Carr (37), Jahrome Hughes (44), Justin Olam (56), Harry Grant (66), Tom Eisenhuth (72)
Goals: Nicho Hynes (13, 23, 28, 45, 56, 68, 73,
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Harry Grant (Storm)
2 pts – Nicho Hynes (Storm)
1 pt – Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
After watching a haka from the crowd, the match was underway. Both sides traded sets in the opening stages without making a dent in the oppositions defensive line. The Warriors were handed the first attacking opportunity after Melbourne were penalised but failed to capitalize when they made an error on the next play. The Storm returned the favour, making an error of their own. Another penalty against the Storm saw the Warriors elect to take the lead with a penalty goal. A few sets later, the Storm took the same approach, with Nicho Hynes slotting a penalty goal after the Warriors were penalised for being offside. The New Zealand side saw themselves in prime position again after another penalty against the Storm; however, they looked to have knocked the ball on. A successful Captains challenge gave them a slight reprieve, but a mistimed kick saw the Warriors gift the Storm a seven tackle set. Harry Grant then joined the match and immediately impacted the game, sniping out of dummy-half before the Storm got it out to Reimis Smith before Dean Ieremia finished off the play, scoring untouched. The Storm continued to roll on, and a few sets later were over again when Brandon Smith squeezed through defenders to score the Storms second try of the afternoon. Melbourne was back on the hunt moments later, and Smith looked certain to score but lost the ball after a massive try-saving hit by Chanel Harris-Tavita. The pressure was on the Warriors as they struggled to get out of their own half and were under the pump again when Josh Addo-Carr managed to steal the ball off Edward Kosi. The Storm quickly shifted the ball to the right, and it looked like Ieremia was over in the corner for a double, but the Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck pulled off yet another heroic try-saving effort, managing to get a hand under the ball to prevent the try. It was only a slight reprieve as an error by Euan Aitken saw the pressure on the Warriors yet again. The Storm continued to bend the Warriors defensive line before a grubber from Hynes saw Addo-Carr impressively scoop the ball up and place it in the corner before going out, handing the Storm a decent 18-2 lead as both teams entered the sheds.
HALF-TIME: Melbourne Storm 18 New Zealand Warriors 2Embed from Getty Images
The Warriors hopes of a comeback took a hit with news the Harris-Tavita suffered a torn pec in the first half and would not be returning. Both sides looked unsettled at the start of the half, making errors in the early stages before the Storm clicked back into gear. Grant looked certain to score before Bayley Sironen managed to strip the ball, only for it to end up in Jahrome Hughes’s hands for Melbournes’s fourth try of the day. The Warriors started to give the ball some width but continued to struggle, with Kosi being dragged over the touchline. The Storm piled on the pressure, but the Warriors were able to keep them contained despite continuing to make errors with the ball in hand. A 40/20 from Hughes as the Storm once again return to the Warriors RedZone, and they wasted little time shifting out to the left with Addo-Carr passing back on the inside for Justin Olam to score. The home side refused to hang their heads and powered up the field, helped with a six again call before a strong run from Kosi saw the side get back into good field position. The Warriors shifted it to the left side, seeing Ken Maumalo score in the corner in what will be his last game for the Warriors before moving to the Wests Tigers next week. This appeared to lift the spirits of the Warriors, but unfortunately, not their defensive efforts, and the Storm scored easily when Grant barged over the try-line. The New Zealand side got themselves back into a scoring position, but a knock-on by Leeson Ah Mau on the Storms try line saw the Storm go the length on the field after Hynes offloaded to Hughes in the in-goal for the electric half to run 60 metres. Melbourne was over moments later when Tom Eisenhuth crossed on the left edge in a play that saw the Warriors lose Wayde Egan after a head clash. The Warriors were out of the race, but they showed what they could offer on attack with an exciting set that saw the march up the field before sending Maumalo over for his second try before sending the giant winger over for a hat-trick after he caught a Nikorima chip kick. The emotion of playing his last match in a Warriors jersey was on full display with Maumalo in tears, surrounded by his teammates as the game ended with yet another strong display by the Storm.
FULL-TIME: Melbourne Storm 42 New Zealand Warriors 16
Chanel Harris-Tavita (Warriors) – pec
Wayde Egan (Warriors) – failed HIA
Match Review Committee
Cameron Munster (Storm) – Grade 1 Contrary Conduct – Early Guilty Plea $1,700 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $2,250 fine.