Three key points for the Storm vs Broncos

The Doc Roar Pro

By The Doc, The Doc is a Roar Pro

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24 Have your say

    The Melbourne Storm continued their excellent start to the 2017 NRL season with a hard-earned victory over the Brisbane Broncos.

    Despite the Storm’s dominance of territory and possession, a fiercely determined Broncos defence held a slender lead with minutes to play.

    A true smash-and-grab away victory was at hand, but a knock on in the Broncos’ penultimate set gave the Storm the opportunity they needed.

    Several penalties later, Melbourne finally found a way over the tryline, albeit with an ounce of luck, with a ricochet ending up in the gleeful arms of Josh Addo-Carr, who squared the scores. Cameron Smith then showed nerves of steel to put through the conversion and give Melbourne the lead with a minute to play.

    Here are three thoughts from a gripping match.

    1. The recovery men
    After a prolonged period out of the game following shoulder surgery, Billy Slater made his long-awaited return, midway through the first half, to a standing ovation.

    He did not miss a beat, proving safe under the high ball and showing glimpses of his trademark speed and acceleration. It was great to have one the superstars of the game back in action.

    Jesse Bromwich made a mockery of his finger injury from a fortnight ago to again lead the Melbourne forward pack. Showing no ill effects, he bashed and crashed for 132 metres.

    Marika Koroibete and Billy Slater

    2. The impediment of attacking players looking to attack the high ball needs to stop
    This is nothing new but the NRL needs to take a look at infringements against attacking players trying to catch high, attacking kicks anywhere on the field.

    Time and time again, both teams would position a player to impede an attacking player (often a winger) thus preventing them from having a fair chance to jump and catch the kick.

    The Broncos were more guilty of this last night, given the pressure they were under in their own 20, but most teams employ this tactic, which needs to be policed better by the on-field referees.

    3. The Broncos will take plenty of heart from this loss
    Despite two losses on the trot, the Broncos should return to Brisbane with plenty of positives. If they play desperate defence like this on a regular basis, then the wins will surely come.

    Despite the Storm’s territorial dominance, they often found it difficult to convert this into points against a determined goal-line defence.

    Brisbane shot themselves in the foot with skill errors in possession and conceded too many penalties, but if they can rectify this, they have the attacking arsenal and defensive grit to be a force.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • March 17th 2017 @ 9:36am
      kk said | March 17th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      HI Doc,

      You must have missed the camera zooming in in Sam Thaiday’s attempt to work on Jesse Bromwich’s
      injured thumb. Contemptible and I hope the MRC take action.

      With the error count at 11:13 and penalties 7:14 the game delivered the Good, the BAD and the UGLY
      in equal measure. Cooper Cronk is registering some alarming lapses of judgement lately.

      Good to see Billy back and make it through. The Broncos were the better team on the night and will
      soon be rewarded with a string of victories, IF they clean their act up and play the ball and not the man.

      • March 17th 2017 @ 10:40am
        Albo said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        Whilst I totally agree with your highlighting of Cronk’s poor game last night, I can’t see how you could possibly say the Broncos were the better team last night ? Despite a favourable 14-7 penalty count , they rarely got into the Storm’s half of the field and never looked like scoring but for the two glaring Storm errors that conceded two gift tries. But for Cronk’s (and Chambers’ ) unusually poor judgement of the options last night, the Storm should have won by 20 +. The Broncos might be ready to string together a run of wins, but they will need to improve heaps on that performance last night.

        • Roar Guru

          March 17th 2017 @ 7:08pm
          Emcie said | March 17th 2017 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

          Favourable penalty count? What game were you watching?

      • March 17th 2017 @ 10:47am
        Glenn said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        Max, don’t hold your breath on Brisbane players being suspended for that, other teams yes but not the NRL darlings. What happened to the sin bin? 2 blatant professional fouls by Brisbane and nothing, and don’t get me started about Thaiday, running in and pushing a player over, another sin bin offence. That was certainly not Sam’s first time running in and often a brawl starts because of it!

        A great defence dominated game and based on that both certainties to make the 8.

        • Roar Pro

          March 17th 2017 @ 10:50am
          The Doc said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          Thanks for the comment Glenn. Sam Thaiday rumbling in as the third man in and not getting penalised was a bit perplexing. A bit contradictory from the refs given all the important being placed on penalising the so called “third man” in.

      • Roar Pro

        March 17th 2017 @ 10:54am
        The Doc said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Hi Max. Yep, apologies. Did miss that. Not a good look, usually (at least in the AFL) these sort of incidents escape punishment ala when Mal Michael and Chris Scott attempted to hit Nick Riewoldt just after he dislocated his shoulder.
        Whilst an act of gamesmanship from Thaiday and certainly not in the spirit of fair play, if you choose to take the field then you must accept that these actions will occur. I think he will escape punishment but lets wait and see

        • March 18th 2017 @ 10:15am
          Zedman said | March 18th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          No you don’t expect these actions to occur, what a stupid statement. If you get suspended for a shoulder charge the penalty for this grubbiness must be a lot more.

    • March 17th 2017 @ 10:06am
      Ken said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      I agree that was such a grubby unnecessary act ,I don’t know how to even explain it ,being injured in a game is normal but having someone deliberately target a injury An try to rebreak it is just something not even a animal would do .

    • March 17th 2017 @ 10:17am
      Albo said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      Despite the closeness of the score line, it was a pretty poor quality match littered with errors. Melbourne were totally dominant but blew chance after chance with poor options, with Cronk & Chambers main offenders here. Vunivalu should check if he has leprosy as no one wanted to pass him the ball when tries were on. Slater passed his first up return but was obviously rusty and made a heap of over-enthusiasm induced errors once he got on the field. The Broncos rarely looked like scoring but for the Roberts runaway intercept of the first half and Hunt’s solo effort in the second. They made errors all night. Hunt’s kicking game was again atrocious, though he scored a good try and his defence saved the Broncos on a couple of occasions.. Milford wasn’t sighted last night , and the Broncos forwards were brave in defence especially McCullough & Gillett with 62 & 51 tackles. But at the end of the day the Storm got home, just like for the umpteenth time, on the back of their champion Smith with a last minute sideline conversion. On another night the Storm might have won this game by 20 + , so the Bronco’s shouldn’t be too happy with this being another close loss. They were only in the game due to the unusually high rate of Storm errors. With Slater back and a few games under his belt, the Storm will be very formidable.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 17th 2017 @ 11:08am
        Joe said | March 17th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Great summary of the game and totally agree. There is a lot of improvement needed in the Melbourne attack and they should only get better.

    • March 17th 2017 @ 10:39am
      Richard Maybury said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      “Despite the Storm’s territorial dominance, they often found it difficult to convert this into points against a determined goal-line defence”

      They only found it difficult due to officialdom denying trys that were trys and not penalising the broncos for dirty play including professional fouls. How the ref can hold his head up after that is beyond me – what is the matter with the sin bin ? Should have been at least 3 players in there for my money – 2 from broncos and 1 from storm.

      • Roar Pro

        March 17th 2017 @ 10:48am
        The Doc said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Thanks for the comment Richard. Yes, it struck me on several occasions a sin bin was perhaps in order for repeated indiscretions. none the less, i thought the Broncos defence was willing given the amount of possession Melbourne had in their opposition 20, Brisbane did well to keep it tight. And yes, the Storm were lacked their usual ruthless when in sight of the try line – a combination of poor decision making and good broncos defence

        • March 17th 2017 @ 12:29pm
          Richard Maybury said | March 17th 2017 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          I thought that the storm were deliberately throwing the ball around in attack to mix it up and confuse the Broncs. That resulted in an increased error rate. They had 17 off loads in that match something you wouldn’t normally see from them in an entire season.

    • March 17th 2017 @ 10:56am
      Mike from tari said | March 17th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      Did I hear & read at the start of the season that the Referees were told to take action on teams giving away deliberate penalties on their tryline, well this game should have had Thaiday in the bin for sure, that incident when he grabbed Bromwich’s injured thumb & just kept pulling it downwards when Bromwich was trying to get up to play the ball was sin bin time, perfect opportunity for that Ref to stamp out the problem, but he flunked it & it just kept going on all through the rest of the game, not the injured thumb pulling but the holding down on the try line.
      The injured thumb incident, well that’s part of the game, I expect Bromwich & his team knew he would cop it but what Thaiday did to be stop the play the ball was a binning.
      The running the attacker off the high ball last night was an absolute farce, the game officials should be sacked, it wasn’t a case of positioning players in front of the attackers, it was a case of deliberately running across field & shouldering the attacker out of the way, in one case the Storm winger was hit so hard he hit the deck over the sideline, I’m not a storm fan but something has to be done.

      • March 18th 2017 @ 2:23pm
        db said | March 18th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        Whilst reviewing a try in the Titans/Eels match, the bunker official referred to a Parramatta player ‘giving an escort’. He then proceeded to review the ensuing play. The escort was Takairangi illeggally running a Titan’s player off the ball as he pursued a high kick. So, the officials now have a term to describe an illegal play they are prepared to ignore.

      • March 18th 2017 @ 6:25pm
        Rob said | March 18th 2017 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

        I remember the Ref’s penalising Kane Linnett shepherding Topou off the ball in the Cowboys semi final loss 30-31 to the Rooster back 2014. The same touch judge ran in shouting “knock on” which prevented a try in the final minutes.
        My point is they let the blocking and indiscretions happen until they want to fix a result? By picking and choosing their interpretations of the rules from week to week they infuriate the players and fans.
        Annoying indiscretions also included players running forward off the mark, placing the ball on the ground before getting to your feet, players holding or charging the markers, defenders taking out support players behind the ball, placing the hand between the legs and lifting(grabbing one leg in a gang tackle like M. Prior).

    • March 17th 2017 @ 11:10am
      kk said | March 17th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

      The Storm paid a huge price for the victory with news that Munster may be out for 4-6 weeks
      with a broken jaw.

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