Stats that Matter – Round 23
The matchup in the forwards was always going to go a long way to deciding this one and Jesse Bromwich stood up to make sure the advantage fell the way of his side. The giant Kiwi stood up when it mattered with a team-high 173 metres for the game, including 105 in the first half alone. His matchup with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was a key one heading into the contest and Bromwich won out, running for 83 more metres than his opposing number.
They may not have piled on a mountain of points but the Storm attack completed when it had to. Their high completion rate was a big reason why they took out the points against the Roosters. That rate was up at 91% by half-time and Craig Bellamy would have been pleased that his side backed up that effort by completing their first 10 sets of the second half.
It would have been nice not to leave it that late but better than never. What made the match-winning try all the more-sweeter was that it was a youngster who stepped up to be the hero. Joe Stimson took the responsibility and made it count, bulldozing his way through the Roosters line to slam the ball down and send more than 17,000 Storm fans into raptures at AAMI Park. The heroics were just reward for the 21-year-old who has earned his place in Craig Bellamy’s starting side, an exciting prospect for the future.
Saturday night’s win sees Storm move three games clear to the top of the NRL ladder with three games left in the season. The six-point buffer over the Broncos and Roosters now means Melbourne require just one more win to seal the minor premiership for the second straight year. They will have the opportunity to do that against the Knights in Newcastle next Saturday afternoon.