Canberra Trial - Match report
Friday 8 February 2013 9:13 PM
Melbourne Storm has been defeated 40-8 in the trial match played at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on Friday night.
The Raiders controlled proceedings for much of the night, with five first half tries setting up the victory. The loss means Melbourne’s pre-season ledger falls at one win and one loss before the club travels to England on Monday for the World Club Challenge.
Maurice Blair (cheekbone) and Matt Duffie (hamstring) all sustained injuries during the encounter and will await scans for further diagnosis. Kevin Proctor sustained a medial ligament injury and will be sidelined for several weeks, meaning he will miss the World Club Challenge,
Melbourne fullback Billy Slater made a cameo appearance on the night in front 4,081 fans in Geelong, playing limited game at the beginning of each half.
Storm started the match brightly, quickly putting Canberra under pressure in the opening stages of the match. After surviving Melbourne’s early attacks, Canberra clicked into gear with Edrick Lee going close to scoring the night’s opening try, only to be held up by a desperate Melbourne defence.
Shortly after, Canberra capitalized on their weight of possession and crossed the line after 14 minutes courtesy of winger Dimitri Pelo. Pelo’s try began a Canberra onslaught in which David Furner’s side piled on three more tries during a 16-minute period.
Pelo crossed for a try on the left wing for a second occasion before Sandor Earl managed to burst through the Melbourne defence and score. Fullback Josh Dugan completed the Raider burst, further extending the lead, scoring under the posts to give Canberra a 28-0 buffer.
Craig Bellamy’s side earned a reprieve late in the half when Matt Duffie crossed with one minute remaining in the first half after being played over the line by Junior Sa’u.
Melbourne began the second half positively, displaying a renewed intensity in defence. Youngster Richard Kennar helped his side further reduce the margin five minutes into the second stanza, scoring on the left wing.
However the Storm resistance was short lived as Canberra found the try-line again to quickly respond to Kennar’s second half opener. Earl bagged his second try of the evening when he was played into open space by Matt McIlwrick.
Hayden Hodge and Edrick Lee completed the comprehensive performance by the Raiders, scoring tries in the last 15 minutes to help Canberra run out 32-point victors.
Melbourne 8 – Canberra 40
Tries: Duffie 39’, Kennar 45’
Tries: Pelo 14’, Earl 18’, Pelo 21’, Dugan 34’, Papalii 36’, Earl 51’, Hodge 65’, Lee 75’
Goals: Crocker 2, Dugan 2
We turn our attention to the World Club Challenge tour in the UK, WATCH Billy Slater chat about it here