Storm fall to Titans in a thriller
Melbourne have fallen to their second defeat of the season, losing to the Titans 38-36 in a thrilling contest at Suncorp Stadium.
Trailing by as much as 10 points in the second half, Storm scored three tries in the space of six minutes to take the lead however Gold Coast came up with two of their own in the last six minutes to snatch the points.
Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk combined for 24 points on the night while Cameron Munster showed great promise at five-eighth with two line break assists and a try assist.
It was a rather event-free opening 10 minutes as neither side threatened with the football.
The Titans wrestled momentum their way though and scored the opener via Ryan James after 16 minutes.
That was the wake up Melbourne needed as they responded emphatically with three tries of their own in the space of nine minutes.
The first came as Tohu Harris broke through the line courtesy of a perfectly timed pass from Cameron Munster. Harris then found Slater who capped his return to Suncorp with a four-pointer under the posts.
Slater would then turn provider moments later as he burst into space thanks to some Cameron Smith genius from dummy half before finding his other great mate Cooper Cronk who raced on to give Storm a six-point lead.
Cronk then had his double before the half hour mark, Tim Glasby this time finding his halfback after breaking through the line from yet another Munster pass.
To the Titans credit they managed to come up with two tries in the shadows of half time to trim Storm’s lead to just two points.
Gold Coast continued that momentum by added their third try in a row less than five minutes after the restart to edge into a four-point lead.
Storm then had several chances in attack but could not make one of the count and were punished as their opponents went over again in the 55th minute to extend their lead to 10 points.
A response was needed from Melbourne and it would be another experienced head who would provide it as Will Chambers finished off a left-side move to score and cut the margin to four points with 16 minutes to play.
To that point it was the side’s verterans that were keeping Storm the contest but a youngster stepped up down the stretch.
Suliasi Vunivalu snatched a high ball and offloaded to a waiting Joe Stimson, the 21-year-old then ran on to level the scores for his first ever NRL try.
Smith added the conversion from the sideline to put Storm back in front approaching the final stages.
The purple faithful in the crowd barely had barely sat back down before Cheyse Blair gave them a reason to rise again and all of a sudden Melbourne found themselves with an 8-point lead.
However it was not to be as the Titans crossed for tries in the 74th and 78th minutes to walk away with the win.
Melbourne Storm 36
Tries: Cooper Cronk 2, Billy Slater, Will Chambers, Joe Stimson, Cheyse Blair
Goals: Cameron Smith 6
Gold Coast Titans 38
Tries: Konrad Hurrell 2, Ryan James, Anthony Don, Leivaha Pulu, , Chris McQueen, Tyrone Roberts
Goals: Kane Elgey 5