Fri 3 March 2017
Belmore Sports Ground - Crowd: 8712

Storm outlast Bulldogs in Belmore slogfest

A tenacious Melbourne Storm have held off Canterbury 12-6 in a competitive but scoreless second half at a rainy Belmore Sports Ground on Friday evening.

While each of the 8,712 in attendance deserved a medal for turning up in such an ordinary timeslot in poor weather, it was the Storm defence which starred in the second match of the 2017 NRL season, the Storm closing up shop after scoring their only two tries of the match inside the first six minutes.

A shellshocked Bulldogs side recovered eventually, but the damage was strangely done - Cheyse Blair's simple left side try followed by an easy four-pointer for Suliasi Vunivalu near the posts had the 'Dogs down 10-0.

Melbourne furthered their lead to 12-0 in the 23rd minute after picking up a penalty when Cooper Cronk was run off the ball on a kick chase.

Canterbury got themselves back into the contest with an enterprising try both set up and scored by five-eighth Josh Reynolds - he created space for his backline to the right and ended up benefiting from an inside ball.

It turned a bit spiteful in the minutes before halftime - Will Chambers, Sam Kasiano and a bunch of others coming to blows in the middle of the park. Chambers and big Sam were sent to the bin for ten minutes.

Both sides went to the break not troubling the scorers further - and didn't after the break either.

The heavens opened up for most of the second forty, making handling difficult and the discipline levels dropped as a result. Melbourne's solid defence coupled with a lack of penetration in attack from the home side meant the scoreboard wasn't altered at all before the halftime break.

There will be injury concerns for the Storm ahead of their trip to Auckland next weekend, with Jesse Bromwich suffering a fracture or dislocation in his thumb. Additionally there are question marks over Ryley Jacks, while Tohu Harris remains unavailable after not appearing tonight.

Canterbury stay in Sydney when they visit Allianz Stadium next Thursday against the Roosters, while the Storm's Trans-Tasman journey will see them face the Warriors in the same 6pm AEDT timeslot next Friday - 8pm kickoff Mt Smart time.

3. Dale Finucane

Big shift from the former Bulldogs enforcer as he visited an old stomping ground, making 29 tackles and running for 182 metres.

2. Josh Addo-Carr

The Storm's back three were outstanding but his safety under the high ball, two link breaks and massive 202 metres earn Addo-Carr the two tonight.

1. Josh Jackson

Huge workrate from the NSW Blues player of the year last Origin series. Mammoth 42 tackles and 142 metres kept the hosts in the contest.