Strong Storm finish seals win
Storm have returned to the top of the NRL ladder with a 20-14 win over the Warriors on ANZAC Day.
An incredibly vocal crowd of 22,153 turned out for what was a contest befitting the important occassion.
The Warriors took the lead on four occasions but Melbourne refused to be denied, scoring three tries to one in the second half to seal the points.
Youngster Nelson Asofa-Solomona was awarded the Spirit of ANZAC Medal for his incredible performance, coming up with 88 metres, 26 tackles and a powerful try.
Will Chambers was also a standout on the night, finishing with 174 metres, one line break and a try assist.
It was a slow start by the home side who soon found themselves trailing 6-nil courtesy of a David Fusitua try in the 10th minute.
In the first half all the stats were pointing Melbourne’s way; more possession, better completion rate, few errors and yet their attack did not appear threatening.
Storm needed a big moment and on the half hour mark it would be a big man that provided it.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona collected the ball 10 metres out in front of the posts and there was no stopping the young prop who steamrolled over for his second try of the season.
Shaun Johnson and Cameron Smith exchanged penalty goals later in the half to see both teams head to the sheds level at 8-8.
It did not stay that way for long, with the Warriors executing a perfectly timed set play to hand Fusitua his second try of the game.
The uneasy mood around AAMI Park did not last long. The Storm centre broke the Warriors line to run 60 metres up field before handing off to Cooper Cronk to put the sides on even terms once again.
The was a game full of momentum swings though and it would be New Zealand who would find themselves in front once again courtesy of another penalty goal.
With every tick of the clock the Storm faithful were growing more anxious but with 15 minutes to play Josh Addo-Carr would send them on their feet.
In a move that started down the right, Storm newest excitement machine would finish it down the left to give Melbourne a two-point lead.
It set up a tense finish but any fears were evaporated when Felise Kaufusi sealed the win with a 77th minute try.
Storm now head to Wollongnong to face the Dragons in a 1st v 2nd clash on the NRL ladder.
Melbourne Storm 20
Tries: Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Cameron Smith, Josh Addo-Carr, Felise Kaufusi
Goals: Cameron Smith 2
New Zealand Warriors 14
Tries: David Fusitua 2
Goals: Shaun Johnson 3