MATCH REPORT | Sydney Roosters 12-14 Melbourne Storm

An enthralling performance from the Melbourne Storm on Friday night at Adelaide Oval saw them continue their dominance, halting the third placed Sydney Roosters 14-12.

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An electric first 10 minutes from both teams set the tone for what was a thrilling clash. A penalty to the Roosters in the ninth minute, courtesy of the Storm’s ill-discipline in the ruck, gave goal kicker Latrell Mitchell the opportunity to open the scoring and put his team out to a 2-0 lead. Brilliant defence from the Storm in the following 10 minute period set the foundation for their first try. A sweeping left hand shift from the Storm sent winger Josh Addo-Carr scorching down the sideline, before a pinpoint pass allowed fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen to score under the posts (6-2). An unnecessary fifth tackle penalty against the Storm gifted the Roosters valuable field position, from which they capitalised. Quick hands from both Cooper Cronk and Brett Morris were enough to break the Storm’s defensive line and create space for winger Daniel Tupou to score in the left corner (8-6). The Roosters continued their scoring eight minutes later, when a rampant run from fullback James Tedesco gave centre Joseph Manu the opportunity to run over the top of two Storm defenders (12-6). A fumble from Tedesco in the dying stages saw Storm halfback Brodie Croft ground his own grubber kick and relieve the pressure going into half time (12-12).

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The competitive nature of each team was exemplified in the opening exchanges of the second half. Resilient defensive pressure from both teams ensured that no points were scored until the 63rd minute. Trying to contort himself around Storm hooker Cameron Smith proved costly for Rooster Victor Radley, as he gave away a penalty and allowed the Storm to edge ahead by two points (14-12). Dazzling defence for the remainder of the game from the Storm restricted the score and ensured that they reigned supreme over their interstate rivals.


Storm rule the Roost(ers)

A well anticipated battle, the surging runs, try-saving tackles and sheer athleticism exhibited in this clash proved to be no disappointment. In true fashion, there was not much separating the two teams at full-time. Ultimately, tremendous ball control and kick pressure ensured a Storm victory and resultantly elevated them six points clear of the second placed South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Forwards dominant

Forwards Dale Finucane, Jesse Bromwich and Christian Welch were instrumental in helping the Storm secure their 12th win of the season. Between them, they had 43 runs for a whopping 419 metres, made 89 tackles and produced two offloads. The power and go-forward that each player provided, particularly in the second half, provided the Storm with the spark that they needed to craft victory against a masterful Roosters team.

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Defence wins games

Without sound defence, winning is very difficult. By continually putting their bodies on the line and making it extremely hard for their opposition to identify a weakness, both teams showed why they are have been dubbed the best two best teams in the competition. Provided that the Storm and the Roosters continue their defensive pressure and dominance, they will set the benchmark for the remainder of 2019.

Poor completion hinders Roosters

While the Roosters commenced the game with the utmost vigour and power, their poor completion rate and inability to capitalise on their kicks in the second half restricted their attacking opportunities. Although they ended up having 48% possession, completing just 24 of 37 sets and yielding 18 errors ultimately cemented their demise.

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Sydney Roosters 12
Tries: Daniel Tupou, Joseph Manu
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 2

Melbourne Storm 14
Tries: Ryan Papenhuyzen, Brodie Croft
Goals: Cameron Smith 3


Sydney Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 21 Brett Morris, 4 Joseph Manu, 19 Matt Ikuvalu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 7 Cooper Cronk, 13 Isaac Liu, 9 Victor Radley, 10 Siosiua Taueiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 17 Mitchell Aubusson, 14 Nat ButcherInterchange: 8 Zane Tetevano, 12 Angus Crichton, 18 Poasa Fanmausili, 20 Lachlan Lam.

Melbourne Storm: 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Justin Olam, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith, 15 Christian Welch, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Kenneath Bromwich, 13 Dale Finucane. Interchange: 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 14 Brandon Smith, 16 Joe Stimson, 19 Tui Kamikamica.

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