Determined Storm defeat Titans
Melbourne Storm have returned to the winner's list thanks to a determined performance on the Gold Coast in Round 14.
With multiple lead changes in the second half, the young Storm side held on for a narrow two-point victory against the fast finishing Titans. A late Kevin Gordon try gave Gold Coast the chance to steal a late victory, however Melbourne buoyed by a powerful performances from prop Jesse Bromwich and centre Will Chambers claimed the two premiership points.
Storm made a positive start, controlling the territorial battle throughout the early stages. Ben Roberts' desperate ankle tap on Beau Henry thwarted the Titans' first opportunity of the evening, saving a certain try before the halfback returned serve in attack, scoring after a crafty run and dummy.
Will Chambers extended Melbourne's early lead, crossing the try-line after a fortuitous break from a high ball allowed Ben Hampton to scoop up possession and get Storm rolling forward.
Building their way into the contest, Gold Coast began to put pressure on the Storm defence with Craig Bellamy's side keeping their shape to deny the Titans for much of the half. The home side finally broke through on the half hour mark through Brad Tighe before striking again in quick succession thanks to a Maurice Blair kick to level the scores.
With the scores locked up 10-10 at half-time, the hosts made the early running in the second stanza, electing to kick for points after Joel Romelo was sent to the sin bin following consecutive penalties against Storm.
Looking to take back the lead in the arm wrestle, Melbourne made the most of their territory isolating Chambers against his opposing number Tighe. The Storm centre proved too elusive and handed his side a two point advantage, scoring his second of the evening.
The see-sawing nature of the contest continued when the home side made sure of another lead change attacking Storm's left side defence. Debutant James Roberts slipped through the line to give Gold Coast a narrow lead entering the final phase of the match.
Refusing to lie down, Melbourne defended stoutly and counterpunched with Jesse Bromwich creating a line break then finding a killer ball to open up the Titans defence. Captain Hinchcliffe handed to Ben Hampton who gave Storm the lead.
Much to the delight of the travelling faithful, young fullback Kurt Mann extended the Storm lead with a strong run to give Craig Bellamy's side some breathing space with under five minutes remaining.
Melbourne Storm 24
Tries: Ben Roberts, Will Chambers 2, Ben Hampton, Kurt Mann
Goals: Ben Roberts 2
Gold Coast Titans 20
Tries: Brad Tighe, Kevin Gordon 2, James Roberts
Goals: Kevin Gordon 2