A strong second half performance has seen Melbourne Storm close out their final trial match of pre-season with a 32-30 victory over Canterbury.
Late tries to Suliasi Vunivalu, Tohu Harris and Cameron Munster allowed Craig Bellamy’s side to overrun the visitors who at one stage held a 30-12 lead during the second half.
A tight opening to the contest saw both sides find their feet early before the Bulldogs were able to strike first.
Brett Morris opened the scoring after Curtis Rona’s kick allowed Canterbury to get in behind Melbourne’s defence.
A strong response from Melbourne then saw the hosts hit back with back-to-back four pointers. Wingers Young Tonumaipea and Marika Koroibete got in on the act finishing off Storm’s attacking moves.
Either side of half-time the Bulldogs gained ascendancy in the contest with Des Hasler’s powerful forward pack mounting the pressure on Melbourne’s defence. The weight of possession proved too much with unanswered tries kicking the Bulldogs out to an 18-point lead.
Billy Slater’s four pointer just short of the hour mark sparked Melbourne into action with a flurry of tries. With the home crowd finding plenty of voice, Storm rode a wave of momentum for the final 20 minutes of the match to run over the top of Canterbury.
Melbourne Storm 32
Tries: Young Tonumaipea, Marika Koroibete 2, Suliasi Vunivalu, Tohu Harris, Cameron Munster, Billy Slater
Goals: Cameron Munster 1, Shaun Nona 1
Canterbury Bulldogs 30
Tries: Brett Morris, Sam Perrett, Curtis Rona, Tim Browne, Tony Williams,
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 5