The Raiders have handed Melbourne their third straight defeat for the first time since 2015 following a hard-fought 20-16 victory at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
A potential season-ending injury to Ryan Papenhuyzen compounded the Storm's loss on a day they were poised to threaten with their spine back together for the first time since Round 9.
A frantic finish, which saw the Raiders cross through a superb solo effort from James Schiller, set up a four-point lead with 14 minutes remaining before a try-saving effort from Xavier Savage denied Jahrome Hughes late.
It was a see-sawing match that the Raiders took advantage of once the Storm lost Papenhuyzen to a serious knee issue.
In his first game back since COVID-19 ruled him out of Origin III, Cameron Munster was looking dangerous from the kick-off with a line break in the opening set but a forward pass from Papenhuyzen denied them the opportunity to open the scoreboard in the first two minutes.
Four minutes later it was Munster again who found flyer Nick Meaney on the right wing to dive over and give Melbourne Storm the first points of the game.
But Raiders struck back soon after when centre Sebastian Kris capitalised on a wild pass from Papenhuyzen with an intercept and sprinted 80m to cross the stripe.
Kris intercepts Pap and runs the distance with a celebration to boot
The visitors skipped to a 12-6 lead through young winger Schiller took advantage when Storm were dealt a double injury blow with Papenhuyzen (knee) and Jesse Bromwich (HIA) left the field.
A penalty against Storm second-rower Felise Kaufusi for an escort gave the visitors the opportunity to take the lead to eight points with a Jamal Fogarty penalty shot.
It looked to be a see-saw contest when Storm halves combined with a Munster kick setting up halfback Jarome Hughes under the posts but a knock-on denied them the chance to reduce the deficit.
It was Melbourne who opened the scoring in the second-half through Hughes who caught the Canberra men napping with a quick tap after a Hudson Young penalty.
Canberra went down to 12 men with 23 minutes to go when winger Jordan Rapana was sin binned for a dangerous tackle on Storm centre Marion Seve.
Capitalising on the extra man, the Storm regained the lead on their home ground when Harry Grant accelerated off his right foot from dummy-half to break through Canberra's defence and dive over the stripe.
Grant sneaks over for the lead
But Melbourne didn't stay in front for long when young-gun James Schiller pulled off a superb solo effort, punting the ball early and running around the corner post to ground the ball right in the corner, in what could be a try of the year contender.
Match: Storm v Raiders
Round 18 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- The Storm saw the return of their full spine for the first time since Round 9.
- In his sixth NRL appearance James Schiller scored his first try the Canberra Raiders.
- After suffering a fractured patella in the first-half of the match, Ryan Papenhuyzen was taken to hospital to have surgery on Monday.
- Raiders forward Joseph Tapine made a big impact for the Raiders with 171 run and 77 post contact metres.
- Cameron Munster was sensational in his first game back since Round 15 with 180 run metres
- Harry Grant finished the match with 42 tackles.
- The Raiders have won five straight games at AAMI park
- The Raiders are the only visiting team with a winning record at AAMI Park.
- The Raiders have won only three from nine away from home in 2022.
- Storm haven't lost three consecutive games since Round 14 - Round 18 in 2015.
- Melbourne Storm legend Cameron Smith was immortalised at his former home ground ahead of their clash at AAIMI Park.
Plays of the Game
In just his 11th NRL appearance, James Schiller pulled off a moment of individual brilliance with a kick and chase that handed the Raiders the upset win. The 21-year-old, kicked the ball early over the Storm defence and ran around the corner post to acrobatically ground the ball right in the corner. The superb solo try was not only the flying finisher's second try of the match, but second of his NRL career.
James Schiller with the spectacular
Young fullback Xavier Savage single headedly denied Melbourne the chance of a miracle comeback in front of a home-crowd when he chased down a grubber forced Jarome Hughes to knock the ball on over the try line.
Savage saves the day
What They Said
"I’m obviously really disappointed that we lost. I thought that we created a lot of opportunities so that was a huge improvement on the last couple of weeks, but we just couldn’t finish a few of them off. To get beat by four is really disappointing when you see in the context of the game how many chances we had. Hopefully we can keep some combinations together and keep working on our preparation and things will turn." – Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
"That was a really great game of football and either teams could have won. It was a tough game, physically tough. We’re in the hunt. There’s no doubt about that. I just need us to play with that type of spirit and that’s why I love coaching them because they’re a tough bunch of blokes and they’re spirited. It was a great performance by James (Schiller), he’s a young bloke and that try he scored in the second-half, the grubber kick, that was a very good try. Whether it was try of the year or not, I’m not too sure, but it was very handy for us." - Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
NRL Press Conference: Storm v Raiders - Round 18, 2022
The Raiders will host the Warriors at GIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon, while the Storm will be back on the road to take on the Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium.
The Raiders will continue their desperate climb into the top eight when they take on seventh-placed Souths.
Ricky Stuart's men already have a win over South Sydney to their name in 2022 - a 32-12 triumph at Apex Oval in Dubbo.
The Storm will be looking to break their habit of losses on the road where the side conceded 64 points in losses to the Sea Eagles and Sharks.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy will be sweating on the outcome of Papenhuyzen's suspected fractured knee-cap after the fullback was carried from the field in the first half.