Melbourne snatch victory, minor premiership with late try over Roosters

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

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    After an enthralling 80 minutes, the Melbourne Storm have pinched a three-point victory and the minor premiership over the Sydney Roosters through a late Joe Stimson try.

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    With scores tied at 12-all after 70 minutes, a Luke Keary field goal appeared to have the Roosters in the drivers seat. It came just one play after Mitchell Pearce, who has already kicked three this year was rushed out of one, but Keary’s execution under pressure was fantastic.

    The Storm though, not to be deterred increased their defensive pressure and a panicy last tackle play from the Roosters saw Blake Ferguson chip a ball dead.

    The ensuing seven-tackle set and a penalty for the Storm allowed them to march up the field, with Cooper Cronk also rushed out of a field goal. He kept his cool and found a way for Joe Stimson to run into space, with the second rower scoring through a desperate last ditch attempt at a tackle.

    A short kick-off followed, but Josh Addo-Carr was put into a dangerous position resulting in a Storm penalty.

    The Roosters, at different times, appeared to be the better side against the all-conquering Storm, but poor discipline cost them through the first half. An 8-3 penalty count at one point turned the game, with the Storm kicking a pair of penalty goals to open the scoring.

    Suliasi Vunivalu was then gifted a controversial penalty try, with Latrell Mitchell pulling him off the ball when chasing a Cooper Cronk kick.

    The Storm, with all the territory at that point were up 10-0, but it didn’t take long for the Roosters to get back into the game a lovely grubber from the returning hooker Jake Friend seeing Luke Keary touch down in the corner.

    That was the end of the scoring for the first half, but not the drama with Blake Ferguson appearing to injure his shoulder and numerous stoppages over the final few minutes.

    The second half turned into a grind, with the Roosters looking to close their four-point deficit. They struggled to do so though, the next points not coming until deep into the second half with Mitchell Aubusson scoring in the corner off a Connor Watson pass.

    The visitors were only able to go onto the attack thanks to a Vunivalu brain explosion as he tried to hurdle the defence. It was one of the weirder moments seen on a rugby league field and levelled the game.

    Billy Slater then came up with an uncharacteristic error in the final ten minutes. Melbourne appeared to have the Roosters under pressure, but a Pearce clearing kick was dropped by Slater.

    Keary then slotted the field goal in the following set, but the Stimson try ensured the Storm would win at home and move six points clear at the top of the NRL ladder, meaning with a superior for and against, they are almost assured of winning the minor premiership.

    Final score

    Melbourne Storm 16
    Sydney Roosters 13

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 2000 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • August 12th 2017 @ 8:27pm
      Rob Sinclair said | August 12th 2017 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

      Great game

      Rugby League is the greatest game in the world.

      Love you Storm.

    • August 12th 2017 @ 11:13pm
      Oingo Boingo said | August 12th 2017 @ 11:13pm | ! Report

      There’s a lot that could be said about that game , but the high standard of refereeing certainly isn’t one of them.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 8:59am
        kk said | August 13th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Cameron Smith is the best all round player I have seen to date . A mere mortal
        like referee Gerard Sutton should be honoured for guidance proffered during the

        Cameron has tried his best over many seasons to help raise the standard of
        refereeing to the same level required for players at the top grade of the code.

        Alas dear Oingo, this is one area where the great Cam Smith has a lot of work
        to do. Perhaps he could get the rules changed. He is a master at bending them.

    • August 12th 2017 @ 11:20pm
      Mr Spock said | August 12th 2017 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

      The scored ended up Roosters 13 – Storm 6 and Refs 10 – it was more than embarrassing those refs – why do they seek Smiths advice so much during the game – is he getting paid as a ref as well

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:56am
        Jacksyd said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:56am | ! Report

        Good to see a ref not worrying about lop sided penalties when it is totally justified.
        The roosters gave penalties away due to the pressure the storm put on them.
        Storm the better side.
        Pearce a passenger for the roosters.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 7:46am
          Bill larkin said | August 13th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

          Agreed. The Roosters were laying on the ruck all night and were rightfully penalised.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 9:27am
            Jimmmy said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

            And the Storm weren’t????

            • August 13th 2017 @ 10:53am
              Bill larkin said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              Finally, a concession that teams other than the Storm try to slow down the play the ball.

              They all do. The Chooks did it more blatantly last night and were penalised.

              I’m heartily sick of these “Storm get away with murder” conspiracy theories.

              • August 13th 2017 @ 11:08am
                Oingo Boingo said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                I thought Smith should have been warned about his constant questioning of decisions , and even penalised.
                The refs have the spine of a snail.

        • August 14th 2017 @ 1:04am
          Mr Spock said | August 14th 2017 @ 1:04am | ! Report

          rubbish- sucked in you lost to the bottom placed team – cannot blame the refs for the loss can you – ha ha ha

    • August 13th 2017 @ 5:03am
      Bluey said | August 13th 2017 @ 5:03am | ! Report

      Great game. Two key things, the first was the ridiculous penalty try decision. The second was Pearce’ inability to manage a game and make good decisions in high presume/crucial moments was again highlighted. The Roosters were 1 point in front with minutes to go and they run the ball on the last. He is an Origin player and should’ve gone for a repeat or kicked it out to slow the game down and make Melbourne come out of their 20. I put money on it that Cronk would’ve done exactly that.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 10:03am
        Duncan Smith said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        The tackle by Mitchell on Vunivalu was really cynical. Like a soccer defender keeping the ball out with his hand. Vunivalu was no certainty to score, but you can’t have tackles like that.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 13th 2017 @ 11:49am
          Joe said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

          Agree and I’m glad the refs finally found the courage to award the penalty try. Vunivalu has been targeted because he is such a good finisher. Last week against the Cowboys in almost identical situation he managed to score the try even though he got held back by Linnett. In that case the ref also said if he didn’t score the try he would have given a penalty try. In this game even though the ball bounced across him, if Latrell doesn’t hold him back it would have been right in his face and you would be very cynical to think he wouldn’t have caught it and scored but because Latrell holds him back the ball goes past him. In the game against the Broncos a couple of weeks back, Moga contacts him in the air and knocked him sideways but he still managed to catch and score over Mead. As I said about time the refs started cracking down and maybe it will rub out this cynical play and actually allow us to see if he could have scored.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 11:54am
            Oingo Boingo said | August 13th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            And if it had been the reverse, would you be so adamant?
            Don’t answer that.

      • August 15th 2017 @ 12:59pm
        Nostradamus said | August 15th 2017 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

        How was that Pearce’s Fault, Friend went the short side and gave it to Ferguson who had a brain explosion

    • August 13th 2017 @ 9:08am
      Jimmmy said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

      Penalty try. GIVE ME A BREAK. The bouncing ball was six metres from the try line when Vunivalu was taken out. Penalty and 10 in the bin. Where do Refs get this sheet from?

      • August 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm
        Stu said | August 13th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

        I agree and I’m pretty sure the Storm would have preferred 10 in the bin so they could have run two or three tries through the gap whilst he was off the field. Penalty try was nice to the Roosters

        • August 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm
          Jimmmy said | August 13th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

          I agree with you totally but that does not make the decision correct.

    • August 13th 2017 @ 9:17am
      kk said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Exit Poll.

      What will the Knights do with Ponga , having secured the services of the most impressive Watson?

      • August 13th 2017 @ 9:24am
        Jimmmy said | August 13th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Good point Max. I really hope Ponga makes the grade . He is a huge talent but he needs to get bigger and tougher. He is not really a winger ( lacks the size ) and his defence is not up to playing in the halves. He is an out an out fullback but Watson is Miles ahead ATM. Very interesting times for the Knights.

        • August 13th 2017 @ 10:04am
          Oingo Boingo said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          Im finding hard to believe the Roosters couldn’t hang on to Watson.
          I suppose if hes been offered huge money , what can they do .
          Anyway after the worst display of refereeing in recent times I turn to rock n roll like only them Southern boys from the US of A can do .
          If you’ve never heard of Molly Hatchet, get this up , put ya coffee cup on a speaker , ya wont even have to boil it.

          • August 13th 2017 @ 10:21am
            kk said | August 13th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

            Wow! Jarryd Henry Christmas!

            Could HD follow Youi onto the ref’s Polos?

            Fully insured of course and ready to play.

      • August 13th 2017 @ 3:39pm
        Alex L said | August 13th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

        Tough decision for Brown; he’s good for halves and Ponga has no real role but fullback. The only thing I can think of is the Michael Morgan small running forward / extra link man in attack type bench utility.

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