A young Storm outfit have fallen agonisingly short of a memorable victory on Monday night
In front of 10,128 fans in Melbourne, a late try to Tepai Moeroa for the Eels gave the visitors a four-point victory on the road, their first ever at AAMI Park.
A late Storm surge fell just short to overturning the narrow deficit as Craig Bellamy’s side rode a wave of momentum in the final two minutes of play.
Earlier, it was a dream start for the hosts when Blake Green unlocked the Parramatta defence on the left edge just five minutes into the contest. Tohu Harris capitalised and then converted his own try to give his side an early 6-0 lead.
Melbourne doubled their advantage shortly after when Ben Hampton scored his first try of the season in his first NRL match of 2015.
The visitors worked their way into the contest, forcing Melbourne to defend repeat sets. After repelling multiple attacking raids from the Eels, the Storm defence finally broke.
Semi Radradra found success on the left wing twice, linking up with Chris Sandow to bring the Eels back into the match. The Flying Fijian’s double reduced Storm’s half-time lead to two points.
With the Eels taking their momentum into the second stanza, Brad Arthur’s side wasted no time in attack. Five-eighth Corey Norman successfully challenged Melbourne fullback Munster in the air to complete Parramatta’s turnaround.
Now chasing the game, Melbourne responded well by camping themselves in Parramatta territory with several attacking sets. As he was in the first half, playmaker Blake Green was prominent, scoring off his own kick to level the scores and set up a thrilling finish.
Both sides then traded tries as the final whistle drew closer. First Mahe Fonua pounced on a Parramatta handling error which allowed Hymel Hunt to give Melbourne the lead. Refusing to lie down, the Eels hit back with another break away. Sandow’s missed conversion mean Storm would carry a two point before Moeroa’s late winner.
Melbourne Storm 22
Tries: Tohu Harris 5m, Ben Hampton 13m, Blake Green 49m, Hymel Hunt 66m
Goals: Tohu Harris 3
Parramatta Eels 26
Tries: Semi Radradra 28m, Semi Radradra 36m, Corey Norman 42m, Ryan Morgan 70m, Tepai Moeroa 77m
Goals: Chris Sandow 3