In 2009, Melbourne Storm hosted a match on ANZAC Day for the second time in the Club's history. On Monday night Storm will take part in their twelfth consecutive match on this significant day.
Heading into their ANZAC Day clash in Round 7, 2009, Melbourne and New Zealand sat seventh and eighth on the NRL ladder respectively, both desperate for victory to hold onto a top eight spot.
Coming off a five-day turn around after facing the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval the previous round, Craig Bellamy’s side was boosted by the inclusion of playmaker Brett Finch. It was the New South Wales representative’s Storm debut following a transfer from Parramatta with whom he had played the opening four matches of the season.
Storm winger Steve Turner scored the first try of the evening after he was found by a Cooper Cronk chip kick in the 12th minute of play. New recruit Finch then had an immediate impact with his new side, finding Slater as the fullback extended the home side’s margin.
A late first half try from Manu Vatuvei sparked the Warriors into action, leaving Melbourne with a slender four point margin at the main break.
Down to just 15 fit players during the second stanza because of injuries to Kevin Proctor and Anthony Quinn, Melbourne managed to extend their lead thanks to a 20-year old Will Chambers. Chambers found the try-line just three minutes into the half, however it only triggered a fight back from the visitors.
As the rain eased, the Warriors surged when Vatuvei crossed for his second of the evening. Patrick Ah Van added another for the visitors as Denan Kemp’s missed conversion left the scores tied at 14 all leading to a drama filled final 20 minutes of play.
Several unsuccessful field goal attempts from Stacey Jones and Cooper Cronk sent the game into golden point extra-time, leading to an additional 10 minutes of play.
Finally, Warrior fullback Lance Hohaia looked to have broken the deadlock with less than a minute left on the clock before the video referee disallowed his successful field goal attempt due to a knock-on from Jones.
The tied result was Melbourne Storm’s first drawn match since golden point extra-time was introduced into the competition in 2003.
Hard-working Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair was rewarded for his determined performance, receiving the inaugural Spirit of Anzac Medal.
Melbourne Storm 14
Tries: Turner, Slater, Cronk
Tries: Vatuvei 2, Ah Van
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