Storm secured their fifth straight win on Saturday night in Townsville, defeating the Cowboys 16-8.
In front of 20,256, a tireless defensive performance led to a scoreless second half as Craig Bellamy’s side held onto their half-time advantage during the second 40 minutes of play.
An early drop from fullback Cameron Munster coupled with a penalty allowed the hosts to take an early 2-0 lead after electing to kick for points.
Storm did not allow the hosts to hold the advantage for long, taking the lead thanks to the familiar right edge combination of Cooper Cronk and Kevin Proctor.
Riding an early wave of momentum, Marika Koroibete’s spectacular finish after some quick hands from Cheyse Blair gave Storm some early breathing space.
It took the Cowboys until just beyond the half hour mark to hit back. Paul Green’s side exposed a defensive lapse from the visitors which culminated in Antonio Winterstein’s four pointer.
Not content with their narrow two point advantage, Melbourne continued to press with Cronk’s brilliance again providing points. This time Tim Glasby pushed himself into the right spot to score upon his return from a shoulder injury.
The Cowboys started the second stanza the stronger of the two sides, immediately gaining a stranglehold after the break. Forcing Melbourne deep in defence the hosts were unable to break through the Storm wall before a Winterstein dropped ball relieved the pressure.
With the momentum swinging for the remainder of the half, neither side could break through as Melbourne held on for their second win over the Cowboys in 2016.
Melbourne Storm 16
Tries: Kevin Proctor, Marika Koroibete, Tim Glasby
Goals: Cameron Smith 2
North Queensland 8
Tries: Antonio Winterstein
Goals: Ethan Lowe 2