NRL live scores, blog: Melbourne Storm vs New Zealand Warriors

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    After last week’s snatch-and-grab win over the Tigers, the Warriors travel to AAMI Park to face off with the Storm to decide who will move into the NRL Grand Final. Join us from 7.30pm AEST for live scores and a blog of all the action.

    The Warriors will have a tough task ahead of them against the minor premiers Melbourne, who come into this one with a week’s rest after dispatching the Knights 18-10 in week one.

    New Zealand will not be concerned about the prospect of facing Melbourne at their home ground, after they won earlier there this year, and famously defeated Melbourne in a 1 v 8 final several years ago.

    In 2011 the games are split, with Melbourne avenging their Round 7 loss with a clinical 16-8 win at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 16.

    Melbourne have had a steely determination throughout the year, and one game from setting up a dream Grand Final with fierce rivals Manly, they are unlikely to let the Warriors ambush them twice.

    However, the Warriors have nothing to lose and will play with freedom under little pressure, with the spotlight firmly on the Storm.

    Melbourne came into the 2011 finals series off two conecutive defeats and hardly set the world on fire against Newcastle, but big-game players like Cronk, Smith and Slater shouldn’t take their eye off the prize tonight.

    In reality, New Zealand were rather fortunate to come away from the Sydney Football Stadium with the win last week, and they were comprehensively dismantled by Brisbane a week earlier.

    Melbourne have had the benefit of the week off and will be well prepared for tonight, and it’s hard to see anything but a Melbourne vs Manly coming up next Sunday.

    Key Match Up: Shaun Johnson vs Cooper Cronk

    In what might be a mismatched battle, young Johnson will need to try to remain calm and steer his attack around the park.

    While his flashes of brilliance are great to watch, consistency, and above all ball control, will be the key to beating Melbourne.

    Cooper Cronk will simply have to do what he has been doing all year, and his combination with Billy Slater has become even more potent in recent weeks.

    My Tip

    Melbourne will be too strong for a Warriors outfit, who seemed like they played their Grand Final last Friday night. Melbourne by 10.

    Will this be as simple as it looks on paper? Or can the unpredictable Warriors provide yet another shock to the NRL finals series? This is an interactive blog, so join us from 7.30pm AEST and leave your thought belows on the action as it unfolds.

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    The Crowd Says (109)

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:31pm
      Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

      75′ Slater grubbver the ball over on the last after a contested high ball goes to ground. The Warriors off the hook. 14-12 to the Warriors.

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:32pm
      Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

      76′ Perfect kick from Johnson stays in the in goal area. Slater takes it, passes to Duffie and Duffie offloads back into the in goal with Manu pushing him over and it goes dead, drop out to the Warriors. 14-12 to the Warriors.

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:34pm
      Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

      TRY WARRIORS – Shauns Johnson with some glorious build up play Lewis Brown to score and make it 18-12 to New Zealand with minutes to go. Kick to come from 5m in from the sideline. Johnson was absolutely sublime with the footwork and the great offload on the fringe, great stuff.

      • September 24th 2011 @ 9:35pm
        Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

        Conversion successful, what a kick from the sideline, 2 minutes left and the Warriors have an 8 point lead, what an upset. 20-12.

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:36pm
      Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:36pm | ! Report

      Short kickoff is taken by the Warriors, this will be all she wrote. New Zealand have played beyond themselves tonight. 20-12 to the Warriors.

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:38pm
      Stu said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

      Well done Warriors!!! I hope you SMASH Manly next week. As does most of QLD, VIC, all of NZ and half of NSW.

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      • September 24th 2011 @ 9:45pm
        NF said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

        What a game, being an Cowboys fan I be cheering my fellow class of 1995 expanison team the Warriors to there maiden premiership, I hope Manly doesn’t get it. Go Warriors you are now my second team.

      • September 24th 2011 @ 10:56pm
        Jeff said | September 24th 2011 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

        I agree Stu.. Warriors out performed Storm in every aspect of the game tonight. Hope they can play this good next week!. I will just put my game shirt away for this year, but what a year it has been!,, I luv league!

    • September 24th 2011 @ 9:39pm
      Patrick Angel said | September 24th 2011 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

      FULLTIME. Johnson belts the ball over the sideline and Melbourne don’t bother packing the scrum. The Warriors with all 3 grades in the Grand Final. The Warriors are ecstatic.

      One of the Games of the season.

      WARRIORS DEFEAT MELBOURNE 20-12. Shaun Johnson my man of the match, played well beyond his years. The Warriors forwards were great, and they completely dominated the second half.

      Russell Packer will probably not play next week after striking Champion from behind, but the Warriors are through.

      • September 24th 2011 @ 11:04pm
        Emric said | September 24th 2011 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

        Shame that only a few die hard league supporters in NZ would have noticed the rest of the country would have been watching the AB’s V France game.

        Anyway Grats to the Warriors but why oh why did you pick the year of the world cup in New Zealand to put on your best preformance

        • September 24th 2011 @ 11:12pm
          silent one said | September 24th 2011 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

          Not me I watched both, I planned to watch the full test match but the abs were just to good so I watched the full warriors match instead.

        • September 24th 2011 @ 11:13pm
          NF said | September 24th 2011 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

          Emric bit of a killjoy to say that sure it’s the wrong year for them making grand final during the RWC but it’s still an amazing achievement for them a least acknowledge that. Yes the attention will be on the All Blacks and rightfully so but it doesn’t mean the Warriors should of thrown in the towel before the Storm game they had a opportunity for an Grand FInal and they took it.

          • September 25th 2011 @ 11:36am
            mace22 said | September 25th 2011 @ 11:36am | ! Report

            Every sporting fan in NZ will be watching the Warriors next week. What a great way for league to make a statement in New zealand in a rugby world cup year, than to get in the NRL final. But to win it ( hoping ) you couldn’t buy that sort advertisement for the game.
            Also well done the warriors under 20s secound grand final win on the cards. Good stuff for the club.

        • September 25th 2011 @ 1:04pm
          Chuck said | September 25th 2011 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Emric the Rugby and League over lapped for all of 10 minutes.
          I watched the match downtown central Auckland on fort street at the Track all the screens including those out on the street (which weren’t already showing the Warriors) were immediately changed to they Warriors as soon as the ABs finished and the huge crowds stayed and from what I could see and hear all the other bars in the vicinity were packed to the hilt with fans cheering on the Warriors, not to mention all of those coming back from the park also joined in cheering the Warriors on.

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