Elinya Chenery reviews the Friday night clash between the New Zealand Warriors and Melbourne Storm…
New Zealand Warriors 12
Tries: Edward Kosi 3 (20, 33, 63)
Melbourne Storm 24
Tries: Justin Olam (6), Harry Grant (26), Jahrome Hughes (41), Nick Meaney (53)
Goals: Nick Meaney 3 (7, 43, 57 -pen), Cameron Munster (69 -pen)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
With two penalties against Nelson Asofa-Solomona in the opening three minutes of play, the Warriors were gifted field position early into this match. With starting hooker Wayde Egan an early casualty with a jaw injury off the the back of the second Asofa-Solomona “dangerous tackle” penalty, the home side were unable to convert their weight of possession into points.
Eventually it was passive goal-line defence from the Warriors that saw Justin Olam slot straight through and open up the scoring off a pass from Cameron Munster during Melbourne’s first set inside the Warriors’ red zone.
Hitting back, the Warriors managed to cross for their first points following yet another Melbourne penalty. A “Harbour Bridge” pass from five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tevita saw Edward Kosi capitalise on an overlap on the left edge.
After picking out the man with the injured knee in Harris-Tevita, Melbourne crossed for their second of the evening. It was a neat series of passes that both started and ended with Harry Grant, with touches from Jahrome Hughes and Felise Kaufusi in between, that saw the Melbourne hooker fall over the line to take the lead for his side once again.
In almost identical fashion to their first try, the Warriors once again crossed on the left edge with a double for Kosi. Replacing Harris-Tevita from their first try for the assist, it was Egan that threw the looping pass that allowed his winger to slide in for his second meat pie of the evening and make it a two-point game heading into half-time.
Right off the kick-off for the second half, Melbourne were back to business. It was a quick play from dummy half from Grant – whilst essentially on top of the Warriors’ try-line – that put Hughes through a large gap and over the mark for the first points of the second 40.
A deep shift to the right edge saw Grant Anderson put in a perfectly weighted kick for replacement fullback Nick Meaney to time his run and plant the ball down in the in-goal for Melbourne’s second try in a row. Originally sent up to The Bunker as “no try”, a quick review showed the put down from Meaney was legitimate.
In yet another duplicate of the first two tries, Kosi went over for his hat-trick. Halfback Shaun Johnson was the man to throw the pass this time, leaving Kosi to do what he had already done twice before.
Despite utilising two kickers in Reece Walsh and Johnson, the inability to nail conversions hurt the Warriors, finishing the match 12 points behind the Storm after missing all three conversion attempts.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Harry Grant (Storm), 2 pts – Edward Kosi (Warriors), 1 pt – Nick Meaney (Storm)
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