2023 NRL Round 22: Storm 46, Eels 16

Andrew Pelechaty reviews the Friday night clash between Melbourne and Parramatta.

Result

Melbourne Storm 46
Tries: (8) Harry Grant 11th, 22nd; Jahrome Hughes 27th; Eliesa Katoa 37th; Josh King 47th; Marion Seve 58th; Cameron Munster 67th; Will Warbrick 76th
Goals: (7) Nick Meaney 12th, 24th, 28th, 38th, 48th, 60th, 68th

Parramatta Eels 16
Tries: (3) Sean Russell 4th; J’maine Hopgood 32th; Luca Moretti 63rd
Goals: (2) Mitchell Moses 32nd, 64th

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Report

It was a big night for the Storm at Docklands’ Marvel Stadium: they celebrated their 25th anniversary with a pre-game premiership presentation (including the 2007 and 2009 titles), wearing a special heritage jersey, and ran out through an Australian Rules-style banner. And they were looking to rebound from a surprise loss to Newcastle last week.

Their opponents Parramatta were desperate to keep their top eight hopes alive after a loss to North Queensland last week.

The Storm lost an early Captain’s Challenge, giving Parramatta prime field position. They took advantage when Sean Russell scored in the right corner, stretching out with his right hand for a 4-0 lead.

Melbourne hit back in the 11th minute through a dummy half dart from Harry Grant. Nick Meaney converted to give Melbourne a 6-4 lead.

Grant scored his second as Melbourne extended their lead to 12-4 after 24 minutes. Jahrome Hughes made it three tries in 16 minutes as the Storm looked like running away with it. Hughes’ “Street Fighter” ‘Hadouken’ celebration for ‘Try July’ was also brilliant.

Parramatta stayed in touch when J’maine Hopgood scored (and Mitchell Moses converted), cutting Melbourne’s lead to 18-10.

Melbourne extended their lead to 24-10 with a try just before half-time – this time to Eliesa Katoa.

Melbourne all but sealed the game early in the second half when Josh King scored. Meaney’s conversion made it 30-10.

Melbourne added their sixth try through Marion Seve, starting with a Hughes break.

Luca Moretti scored for Parramatta with 17 minutes left (converted by Moses), though it seemed too little, too late.

Cameron Munster nailed the game shut with a 20-metre run – stepping through the Parramatta defence – as Melbourne hit 40.

Another try, to Will Warbrick in the right corner, followed as Melbourne entered party mode.

The win keeps Melbourne in the top four, with a blockbuster clash against Penrith next Friday night.

Parramatta stay outside the eight and have tough games ahead against Brisbane (Round 24) and Penrith (Round 26), before their final bye (Round 27).

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Jahrome Hughes (Storm)
2 – Harry Grant (Storm)
1 – Cameron Munster (Storm)

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