Storm survive serious scare from energetic Eels, confirm home prelim

Stuart Thomas Columnist

By Stuart Thomas, Stuart Thomas is a Roar Expert

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    In a fitting celebration of the three hundred and fifty-six game career of Cameron Smith, the Melbourne Storm have ground out a wonderful win against the Parramatta Eels, despite being pushed to the brink.

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    Three tries apiece gives a fair indication of the close nature of the game yet there was something a little special about the performance of the Storm in the second half.

    Parramatta began the game well and tried to use line speed to pressure the clinical Melbourne attack, which started with seven line breaks early and looked to have the contest under control.

    However, the Eels were able to weather that storm before starting to impart their own frantic tempo on the contest and take control of the last twenty minutes of the first half.

    The sin-binning of Cameron Munster, after a professional foul, aided their cause and the visitors were able to convert on the scoreboard and take the lead going into the break.

    Completion rates would have been the focus of Craig Bellamy at half-time, as his side were sitting at an abysmal 64.7 per cent after managing to fumble their way through a pressurised half were the Eels consistently challenged them.

    The Eels needed to replicate their impressive ball control from the first-half in the second and continue to pressure the Storm yet things panned out very differently to what coach Arthur had laid out for his troops.

    The Storm found their mojo and began completing sets with more regularity and the Eels began coughing the ball up in poor field position.

    The Storm were able to take advantage with two second half tries and a penalty goal before the Eels hit back late with a try that kept the contest close, right up to the final whistle.

    All in all, the kicking games of both teams were poor and the ball control stats will be an issue for both coaches.

    Melbourne now take a break and rest for a week, potentially sharpening up their attack that looked a little rusty or clunky against the Eels.

    For the visitors, they await their opponent for next weekend. If they reproduce the effort they showed today, they would consider themselves a good chance of advancing into a third week of the finals.

    Stuart Thomas
    Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas is a sports writer and educator who made the jump from Roar Guru to Expert in 2017. An ex-trainee professional golfer, his sporting passions are broad with particular interests in football, AFL and rugby league. His love of sport is only matched by his passion for gardening and self-sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @stuartthomas72.

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    The Crowd Says (67)

    • September 9th 2017 @ 6:17pm
      republican said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

      A victory for the plastic tele concoction, the Storm.
      Is there a solitary product of Vic GR in this side?

      • September 9th 2017 @ 8:41pm
        JR said | September 9th 2017 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

        The Storm won fair and square. There may not be many Victorians in the side but Melbourne is supposed to be a development area. Still a gate of 22,000 wasn’t too shabby what did the Roosters get ? Maybe Melbourne has more right to be in this comp than some Sydney sides.

        • September 9th 2017 @ 11:40pm
          Peter Phelps said | September 9th 2017 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

          Well said JR,

          all the whinging gets tiresome after a while.

          • September 14th 2017 @ 7:30am
            Ken said | September 14th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

            Peter I stopped arguing with the storm haters because it’s arguing with blind ignorance , the storm have been in existence for 19 years and have produced 2 Victorian born players who have played for the storm Mahe Fonua and Young tonimapea so there are now lots more juniors coming thru ,and honestly what does that even mean .The storm have produced players other clubs have cut or who couldnt even make first grade and made them champions more than any other club in the nrl , what the heck have the other clubs ever done .

    • September 9th 2017 @ 6:17pm
      Duncan Smith said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

      I’m sure any minute now the Parra fans will be here blowing up that Radradra was allowed to score off a forward pass.

      • Roar Guru

        September 9th 2017 @ 6:34pm
        Adam said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

        Any mintue now…

      • September 9th 2017 @ 9:42pm
        Chris Love said | September 9th 2017 @ 9:42pm | ! Report

        I am sure Parramatta fans will be blowing up about both the storms first two tries. The last pass in the first one that the ref didn’t even listen to his touchie and called “touched” signaled 6 again. The Parra hand that touched the ball was in front of the player/ball by definition it had to be forward. And again with the 11 try stunner, the pass from Cronk to Glasby where Glasby was standing directly in front of Cronk when he received the ball. That one was a shocker.

        Though Parra were lucky to not have two players sin binned for striking.

        • September 10th 2017 @ 8:10am
          M said | September 10th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

          How bout all those dodgy calls the eels have been given the past few weeks? Surely the eels fans wont mention that haha

    • September 9th 2017 @ 6:28pm
      Rod said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

      As a storm fan im blowing up deluxe about the first try from a great pass from Curtis Brady.

    • September 9th 2017 @ 6:46pm
      Paul said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

      The Storm go rolling on, just a shame that they can only win by forward passes, grub tactics & feigning to get penalties.

      • September 9th 2017 @ 7:41pm
        Duncan Smith said | September 9th 2017 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

        It’s harder to lose than to win. Think about it.

    • Roar Rookie

      September 9th 2017 @ 6:55pm
      Joe said | September 9th 2017 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

      I thought it was a great game and the Eels certainly did their fans proud and unlucky not to get the win. Storm played patches of brilliant football which was enough to get them in front and then their defense won the game for them. I actually think this game will do the Storm a world of good and would be a big wake up call that they are not the raging favorites and still need to turn up to win games. Also what a great try to start the 2nd half by the Storm, went through 10 pairs of hands in the last tackle and the support just kept turning up. Also Billy Slater has already made a big difference compared to last years campaign. Force a couple of penalties…some dumb e.g. Mau’u running him off the ball when he wasn’t even a chance to get to the contest but what sets him apart is his effort for his try, he actually runs forward as he wants a kick from Munster but by the time the ball got to Josh Ado-Carr he had run back and made himself live for the kick through and then went and scored the try…most players once they run through the line just wait and watch the play unfold. Great player and good to have him back for this series.

      • September 9th 2017 @ 8:47pm
        JR said | September 9th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

        The eels can hold their heads high, they played well and with a lot of heart. I would expect them to go further in this series.

        I am dammed sick of this “on report” ruling. It is terrible the way it is carried out and in sudden death football it gets very much worse. Take an opposition players head off and they get a penalty and an on report which doesn’t matter if you lose. If its bad enough for an on report in should be an automatic 10 in the bin.

    • September 9th 2017 @ 7:24pm
      Wild Eagle said | September 9th 2017 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

      If the ball from the so called knock on for the Parra was forward then we have 50 or more forward passes a game.

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