Christopher Rooney reviews the top two clash between Melbourne and Penrith. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Reimis Smith (9), Dean Ieremia (12, 18, 65), Jesse Bromwich (53), Harry Grant (62).
Goals: Cameron Munster (13), Nicho Hynes (19), Ryan Papenhuyzen (35 – pen, 54, 64, 66).
One-Point Field Goal: Ryan Papenhuyzen (80).
Tries: Brent Naden (71), Scott Sorensen (78).
Goals: Matt Burton (79).
Player of the Year Points
3 pts – Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm)
2 pts – Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)
1 pt – Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Despite all the disruptions and interruptions, this was still viewed as the match of the round.
The Melbourne Storm were practically at full strength, with Harry Grant a welcome addition off the bench.
The Penrith Panthers were without their most crucial players in Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo, Brian To’o, and James Fisher-Harris.
As expected, it started as a very physical contest between both sides.
The first kick by Matt Burton was a beauty, a towering bomb to the wing of Dean Ieremia, who knocked on.
It looked to be the perfect start for the Panthers, but the Storm’s defence was clearly on as Josh Addo-Carr was able to throw Charlie Staines out of bounds on the first play.
It didn’t take long for the Storm to score, ending up with 18 points in the first half.
The first try to Reimis Smith, and a double to Dean Ieremia, was more than enough for the Storm to hold off the Panthers in the first half.
The Panthers had more possession in the first half but a lot of errors and a lack of organisation in attack, which led to a scoreless first half.
HALF-TIME: Melbourne Storm 18 Penrith Panthers 0
The second half started the same as the first half: the Storm had all the momentum, frustrating the Panthers.
The Storm were guilty of giving away six agains and a few penalties, but it didn’t stop them from continuing to dominate.
Jesse Bromwich was the first to score in the second half, just barging over in the middle of the Panthers tryline.
Then a try from Harry Grant, against a very soft defence, put the final nail in the coffin for the Panthers to make any respectable comeback.
Ieremia had a great game, scoring another try for the afternoon and his first hat-trick of his NRL career.
The Panthers, however, did score the final two tries of the afternoon, which no doubt would have left Craig Bellamy angry.
A try in the corner from Brent Naden, and a very soft try by Scott Sorensen, was all the Panthers had left in the tank.
Ryan Papenhuyzen kicked a final minute field goal, perhaps practicing for the finals.
FULL-TIME: Melbourne Storm 37 Penrith Panthers 10
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised