Last time they met: Warriors
Round 20, 2013 – Melbourne Storm 22 defeated by Warriors 30
Mt. Smart Stadium, Crowd 20,126
Melbourne Storm 22
Tries : Maurice Blair, Cooper Cronk, Justin O’Neill, Billy Slater
Goals: Cameron Smith 3
Tries: Ngani Laumape 2, Konrad Hurrell, Thomas Leuluai, Kevin Locke
Goals: Shaun Johnson 5
1. Billy Slater, 2. Sisa Waqa, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Maurice Blair, 5. Justin O’Neill, 6. Brett Finch, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Bryan Norrie, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Ryan Hoffman, 13. Ryan Hinchcliffe, 15. Tohu Harris, 16. Siosaia Vave, 17. Slade Griffen, 20. Jason Ryles
Coach: Craig Bellamy
1. Kevin Locke, 2. Ngani Laumape, 3. Dane Nielsen, 4. Konrad Hurrell, 5. Manu Vatuvei, 6. Thomas Leuluai, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Sam Rapira, 9. Nathan Friend, 15. Jacob Lillyman, 11. Feleti Mateo, 12. Simon Mannering, 13. Elijah Taylor, 10. Ben Matulino, 14. Suaia Matagi, 16. Todd Lowrie, 17. Dominique Peyroux
Coach: Matthew Elliot
Late charge not enough for Storm
A spirited second half performance, including three tries from the visitors was not enough for Craig Bellamy’s side to secure a come from behind victory.
The Warriors held the lead early after a blistering start from fullback Kevin Locke combining with Konrad Hurrell to stretch the Melbourne defence, putting on a try from 20-year old Ngani Laumape.
Shortly after, Laumape was at it again, sealing a try for the Warriors from a deep defensive position for his second within the opening 12 minutes of play, putting Melbourne on the back foot.
Cooper Cronk’s 40-20 kick gave Melbourne a chance at the Warriors try-line. Storm quickly moved the ball off the back of the scrum for Justin O’Neill to score for Melbourne’s first of the day.
However Matthew Elliot’s outfit continued to be steadfast in defence, absorbing Storm’s pressure in attack.
Shortly after half-time, a breakaway from Shaun Johnson was stifled by a remarkable chase from Will Chambers who stopped the speedster in his tracks. The inspired chase down was a turning point for the visitors, who scored within minutes of the Chambers effort.
Billy Slater and Maurice Blair both crossed the try line to make it a two-point game. However, like the first half, the Warriors managed to hit back against the run of play, this time through Konrad Hurrell.
The Warriors pressed for the win with two repeat sets late in the match, however Melbourne managed to hold out to go the length of the field and set up a grandstand finish before Kevin Locke sealed the victory for the Warriors with just minutes remaining in front of 20,126 fans in Auckland.