Melbourne Storm has been defeated 12–32 by the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
The home side looked dangerous for parts of the match but were outgunned by the reigning premiers over the full 80 minutes.
Storm gained composure and balanced the momentum of the contest after a slow start with Trent Robinson’s side applying the pressure right from the kick-off.
A penalty against Craig Bellamy’s side deep in defence set up an early chance for the visitors, who managed to expose a lapse on the home side’s wing to strike the first blow through captain Anthony Minichiello.
Tensions reached a new intensity after a Jarrad Waerea-Hargreaves tackle caught Bryan Norrie above the shoulders, which saw the Storm prop and Sydney’s Frank-Paul Nuuausala sin binned for the resulting scuffle.
Despite numerous errors and a determined Melbourne defence, the Roosters made it back-to-back tries when Mitchell Pearce found an opening to cross the line under the posts.
With their side on the front foot, Sydney continued to push Melbourne with relentless and opportunistic attack. Remi Casty was able to capitalise with a try just before half time to extend the margin to 16-0 with the help of two Maloney conversions.
Shortly into the second half, Mitch Garbutt was forced to leave the field with an injury that left his side a man down. However, Mahe Fonua broke the drought soon after with a quick run through the Roosters’ defence to score first points for the Storm.
Melbourne seemed to regain the spring in their step and looked to score again, but some agile footwork form Sydney winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck gave the visitors the response they needed to push the score-line to 20-6.
Sydney continued to test the home side in defence and came up with multiple chances to score. It didn’t take long for Sonny Bill Williams to find the ball in space and charge through the stretched Melbourne line, exacerbating the margin and pushing the Storm further behind.
With momentum well and truly with in the Roosters’ favour, Melbourne fullback Kurt Mann gave his team a spark with an impressive solo effort to reduce the difference back to 26-12.
However, the result was put completely out of doubt when Minichiello scored his second try of the afternoon to put the visitors ahead by 20 points with the conversion.
Melbourne Storm 12
Tries: Fonua, Mann
Goals: Smith 2
Sydney Roosters 32
Tries: Minichiello 2, Pearce, Casty, Tuivasa-Sheck, Williams
Goals: Maloney 4