Melbourne Storm vs Leeds Rhinos: World Club Challenge rugby league live scores, blog

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    Melbourne Storm vs Leeds Rhinos

    2018 World Club Challenge, February 16

    AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
    Melbourne Storm Leeds Rhinos
    38 SCORE 4
    7 Tries 1
    4 Conversions 0
    1 Penalty Goals 0
    0 Field Goals 0

    The Melbourne Storm will begin life after Cooper Cronk when they take on the Leeds Rhinos in the annual World Club Challenge, pitting the premiers of the NRL and English Super League against each other. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 8pm (AEDT).

    Melbourne will have a similar side to the one which defeated the North Queensland Cowboys in the 2017 NRL grand final, but without Cronk, there is a huge hole to fill.

    That responsibility will fall on Cameron Munster and rookie Brodie Croft, with the former in particular now facing a huge role to ensure the men in purple continue to be a success.

    It’s not just Cronk the Storm have lost though. Tohu Harris has departed for the Warriors and his versatility on the edge is going to be difficult to replace, while front rower Jordan McLean has gone to the Cowboys.

    Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been earmarked to have a big season up front and will want to make a statement with the eyes of the rugby league world on him here, while the pack will again be led by Jesse Bromwich. The return of Ryan Hoffman from the New Zealand Warriors also adds plenty of experience.

    Like Melbourne, Leeds have lost one of their big guns from 2017, with half Danny McGuire moving to Hull Kingston Rovers. The new-look halves combination of Joel Moon and Richie Myler have big shoes to fill if they are to work their way past Melbourne.

    If their forward pack can find a way to nullify the Storm, then they may be in with a chance.

    Former Manly Sea Eagle, St George Illawarra Dragon, Cronulla Shark and Newcastle Knight Adam Cuthbertson will lead the pack from the front row, alongside Brad Singleton, while hooker Matt Parcell takes on the ageless Cameron Smith.

    Even if the pack can find a way to stay in the game for Leeds, they will need to rely on points being posted by Tom Briscoe and English winger Ryan Hall.

    They take on the dangerous combination of Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr, who were both at the top of the NRL’s try-scoring charts in 2017 and could cause carnage here.

    Even without Cronk, the Storm are the most professional outfit on the planet, and with home-ground advantage should cruise to a big win.

    Storm by 16.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the World Club Challenge from 7:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,800 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 (199)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • Roar Rookie

      Joe said | 10:09pm | ! Report

      Good first up performance by the Storm. They were pretty rusty especially Cam Smith who played a very ordinary game. No Billy in the 2nd half but they still held firm especially in defense which was pleasing. Croft played very well in his first hit out of the year. Have to remember though this is a weakened Leeds team missing a few players from their GF win. I think the Storm forwards won this game, they were powerful especially up the middle. I don’t know who Sam Kasiano replaces because all the props were outstanding…I thought Christian Welch was very good today as was Glasby, Solomona and of course J.Bromich. It might be Craig will have to choose between K.Bromich and Brandon Smith for a utility and have 3 props on the bench. Storm backline were pretty rusty but the combo between Croft and Kaufusi looked like they’d been playing together for ages. Suli with another outstanding try and it was good to see JAC show his speed chasing down was it Watson? Overall was good viewing but a lot to work on.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:08pm | ! Report

      Full match report will be up on site shortly.

      Thanks for joining me this evening on The Roar for our live coverage of the 2018 World Club Challenge as the Melbourne Storm hammered the Leeds Rhinos by 34 points.

      Hopefully you enjoyed the coverage.

      The Roar will be back tomorrow from 5:30pm (AEDT) for the double-header from ANZ Stadium featuring the Dragons vs Hull and Rabbitohs vs Wigan.

      Bye for now.

      • Roar Guru

        Emcie said | 10:10pm | ! Report

        thanks for the call mate

      • 10:45pm
        terrence said | 10:45pm | ! Report

        great work scott, great ”trial” from melbourne (a lot better than any other trial in the NRL), a competitive game like that will serve the storm well. Leeds has a good dig for the 78 minutes? Good effort heading to Australia, they went well.

        Might put a few of the doubters over Croft/Munster off the plan. Both great.

        And still a few weeks to get a few rusty areas in the Storm game tonight under control (even better without having to fly to the UK and back taking 6 days of travel/recovery out of the plan…)

        Footy’s back! That was a great supporting act, can’t wait the see the headliners in a few weeks…

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:07pm | ! Report


      “I was not expecting this at all. To Leeds, thanks for coming down. To our boys, great game, good to get the first one out of the way for the year playing in front of our home crowd – the best crowd in the world.”

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:06pm | ! Report

      The man of the match is Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Can’t argue one bit with that.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:05pm | ! Report

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:03pm | ! Report

      I’ll hang around for the presentation. Who should take man of the match Roarers?

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:01pm | ! Report

      Thoughts on the game Roarers?

      • Roar Guru

        Sleiman Azizi said | 10:06pm | ! Report

        I only got to see the last 15 minutes.

        Melbourne just too good. I heard that they took a while to get into their groove and that Leeds were pushing them well enough.

        That’s all good and well but you have to make those times count with points and then also be able to up your own game once the opposition does.

        It looks as if Leeds weren’t able to do that but they’ll live to fight another day. They are a good club.

        So too are Melbourne. The crowd looked pretty good too. Any figures on that?

        • Roar Guru

          Scott Pryde said | 10:09pm | ! Report

          Leeds were the better side in the first 15. Really should have been further ahead than 4-0.

          Crowd did look good. Haven’t seen a number, but there is an appetite for this competition.

          • Roar Guru

            Sleiman Azizi said | 10:24pm | ! Report

            Cameron Smith said 20,000 during his victory speech.

            This match always draws well, either here or in the UK. Remember the 30,000 that turned up to watch the Roosters play Wigan?

            The game – and concept – has great potential.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 10:00pm | ! Report


      The Melbourne Storm are the World Club Champions for 2018.

      They were outstanding tonight. A case of no Cooper Cronk, no worries. Despite starting a little slowly, they ran on 38 unanswered points in the final 65 minutes to run away with a huge victory. Cameron Smith was rusty, Billy Slater didn’t play in the second half, but it didn’t matter.

      The new halves combination between Cameron Munster and Brodie Croft looked outstanding at times, while the forwards rolled up the park with ease. Nelson Asofa-Solomona was huge off the bench, but the whole pack worked as one and were dominant for the most part.

      A commanding performance and one which is going to do the Storm’s pre-season odds no harm.

      Melbourne Storm 38
      Leeds Rhinos 4

    • Roar Guru

      Emcie said | 9:59pm | ! Report

      i know storm ran away with it there, but man, how much better is the poms attitude to how the game should be played

      • Roar Guru

        Scott Pryde said | 10:01pm | ! Report

        Oh absolutely! It was refreshing to watch that first quarter of an hour and whenever else Leeds got on the attack.

      • 10:03pm
        jimmmy said | 10:03pm | ! Report

        They just need better defensive systems Emcie . That plus a bit more fitness and they would be highly competitive .

    • Roar Rookie

      Joe said | 9:58pm | ! Report

      Great win by the Storm. Did enough to win and win well. Croft has passed his first test for the season. Now its all about Billy and his shoulder.

      • 10:01pm
        jimmmy said | 10:01pm | ! Report

        I really hope he is OK. He is an absolute freak of a player and deserves to get through what is likely hide final season.

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 9:57pm | ! Report


      Storm 38
      Rhinos 4

    • Roar Guru

      Scott Pryde said | 9:56pm | ! Report

      Asofa Solomona with an offload from the scrum, finding Munster who is tackled a metre out. Scott goes left to Glasby now who is tackled a metre out, with a ball then finding Finucane back through the middle who backs into the line, taking the defence with him and falling over the line to score.

      Video referees called in again, but there is no problem with this. Melbourne have just been way too good this evening.

      Storm 36
      Rhinos 4

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