Christopher Rooney reviews Melbourne’s tight win over North Queensland. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Coen Hess (39), Kyle Feldt (51), Kane Bradley (74)
Goals: Scott Drinkwater (40, 52)
Tries: Josh Addo-Carr (3, 71), Justin Olam (18), Reimis Smith (62)
Goals: Nicho Hynes (4, 64)
Player of the Year Points
3 pts – Jahrome Hughes (Melbourne Storm)
2 pts – Brandon Smith (Melbourne Storm)
1 pt – Scott Drinkwater (North Queensland Cowboys)
Watching the first game of the night between the Roosters and the Knights, we were informed that Jake Granville would be lining up in the fullback position tonight. Yes, Jake Granville…
A strange decision, but I guess times are tough as they will be without Valentine Holmes and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow for the rest of the season.
The Storm, on the other hand, decided to rest Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, and Dale Finucane. Still naming a very strong team and on a current 14-win streak, the Storm looked to extend their winning streak in North Queensland.
The Storm scored first with Josh Addo-Carr doing what he does best and it looked like it was going to be a typical Melbourne Storm first half, or so we thought.
The Cowboys made the first half a real grind and a competition for the Storm. Granted, a lot of errors and a lack of execution from the Storm was more the reason.
The Storm had moments where they looked certain to score, but again really lacked the execution to attack. The Cowboys only made two errors in the first half and really played a simple game to upset the Storm.
Both sides had tries that were disallowed, both due to obstruction, which really could have gone either way. The Cowboys were patient and were able to score on the stroke of half-time: surprisingly that a help up call wasn’t called against Coen Hess who scored the try.
Regardless, we were in for a game in the second half. The Cowboys no doubt entered the locker room with huge confidence considering they were the first team in four games to score a try against the Storm in the first half.
I’m sure Bellyache gave his boys a nice old spray as the Storm were beating themselves.
HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 6 Melbourne Storm 10
The second half started exactly like the final 20 minutes of the first half and the Cowboys were still in the match. The Cowboys generally do struggle in the second half this season, but not tonight.
The Storm, just like the first half, really were their worst enemy. Just a number of bad errors and bad judgements in defence made it a real struggle for them tonight.
All night the Cowboys were able to gain a lot of easy metres, something that the Storm will be fifthly about.
In the 51st minute, Kyle Feldt scored to give the Cowboys their first lead of the night. A great moment for Feldt tonight, who has officially scored 100 tries in his career.
It continued to be a tough battle for the Storm to gain momentum, but a simple kick from Scott Drinkwater, that landed right in Jahrome Hughes’ hands, was the momentum swing the Storm desperately needed.
A great run from Hughes gave the Storm their best opportunity of the second half to score and they certainly did.
Reimis Smith scored the best try of the night after a great kick from Dean Ieremia. Addo-Carr also scored his second try of the night (and his 100th NRL try) to give the Storm an eight-point lead with 10 minutes to go.
In a feel good moment for the Cowboys, rookie Kane Bradley scored (from a forward pass), but it made the contest that much more tense for the Storm.
The Storm were able to hold onto a four-point lead and walk away with 15 straight wins this season and 26 straight wins in Queensland.
The one thing that many will remember from this game (apart from the Storm not scoring 40!) was the decisions by the referee and the touch judges. A number of poor calls from the officials tonight and an absolute blatant forward pass from the Cowboys.
FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 16 Melbourne Storm 20
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised