Melbourne Storm fell to the third-placed Canterbury Bulldogs 6-4 in front of 13,149 at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Storm started the match with vigor and intensity by repeatedly putting the visitors under pressure in their own half. The attack was lead by star halfback Cooper Cronk, who was a late inclusion into Craig Bellamy’s side.
The Bulldogs responded with their own pressure and managed to stretch the Storm defence, causing the hosts early problems.
Winger Mahe Fonua came close to opening his account for the night by making it into touch in the 12th minute, following some silky play from fullback Billy Slater but was not able to get the ball down.
The positive play from Storm led to the first try of the match with New Zealand International Kevin Proctor latching onto an incisive pass to make it 4-0 midway through the first half.
New Storm recruit Marika Korobete was lively and made use of his strength and speed providing plenty of go forward for Craig Bellamy's side.
Storm led the Bulldogs 4-0 in a low scoring affair at AAMI Park going into the break, however after the restart, the Bulldogs started brightly immediatley getting on the front foot. Sam Kasiano managed to work his way through the Storm defence to reach across the try line and hand his side the lead.
A wave of attacks from Melbourne were continually denied by a stedfast Bulldogs defence. A late penalty to Storm handed skipper Cameron Smith the chance to level the scores in the dying minutes however his kick sailed wide.
Melbourne Storm 4
Tries: Kevin Proctor 24
Canterbury Bulldogs 6
Tries: Sam Kasiano 46
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 1/1