Melbourne Storm’s Jersey Flegg side has continued its hot run in the Jersey Flegg competition, making it three wins on the trot after defeating the Parramatta Eels 22-20 in Round 13.
Despite being forced into a number of changes due to injury, fresh faces stood tall on the road for the Storm, showing cool heads to snatch victory at the death.
Mitchell Jennings continued his electric start in Storm colours, scoring with just two minutes left on the clock with Matthew Hill slotting home a conversion attempt to see Storm take home the two points and leapfrog the Eels into the top 6.
After the Eels opened the scoring through Lene Feterika, Storm would hit back through local Victorian junior Zayvian Langkilde-Fale who sliced through after some ad-lib footy close to the line unlocked the Eels defence on the right-hand side in the 18th minute.
The next 10 minutes would see both sides exchange tries, with the Eels scoring through Feterika once again before Storm hit back thanks to a slice of good fortune with Suli Prescott scoring in the 27th minute.
Young half Stanley Huen quickly found out even the most unconventional kicks can sometimes work in your favour, with his attempted grubber almost missing his boot entirely before ricocheting off his shin and straight into the path of a flying Prescott who won the race to the ball, levelling scores up at 12-12.
Storm then hit the front for the first time in the contest right before the break, Joshua Berryman shrugging off the rushing Parramatta defence before finding an unmarked Oscar Amosa who showed great acrobatic skill to plant the ball down in the corner.
The home side got the better of Storm to start the second half, Richard Penisini and Turoa Williams both going over to give the Eels the lead once again.
As the second half wore on, the physicality and pressure amped up, with neither side giving an inch as they searched for that decisive final try.
As has been the case over the past month, it was Storm’s youngsters that stepped up when push came to shove, finding the try line when it mattered most to ensure Storm’s efforts weren’t in vain.
After forcing the repeat set, Storm’s patience was rewarded when Berryman linked up with Jennings who ran the perfect line to score in the 68th minute.
With Matthew Hill’s conversion successful, the Eels were desperate to have one final roll of the dice, going short off the kick and managing to win the ball back.
The Eels quickly put on a shift down the right-hand side and despite having a significant overlap, it would all mean very little with Ali Okusitino coming up with a crucial touch of the footy to ensure it didn’t reach the outstretched hands of a flying Turoa Williams.
Eels halfback Joshua Lynn’s two-point field goal attempt from the ensuing scrum would ultimately sail to the left of the upright, ensuring Storm held on for the narrow victory.
Storm will continue its run of away games, returning to Sydney again next week to face the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval.