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The Brisbane Broncos have farewelled ANZ Stadium in style with a 36-16 victory over the Melbourne Storm. The scoreline was not a true indication of the closeness of the match. Melbourne fought hard and once they get their injured players back, will be an outside chance at making the top four.
The Storm were in up to their eyeballs with less than 20 minutes to go but an injury to Matt Orford just before half-time left the Storm without their chief playmaker for the entire second half and it was always going to be a tough ask for the Storm to overcome a determined Broncos outfit without one of their main stars.
The Broncos will now look to next week?s match against the Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium in what will be one of their biggest games of the season while the Storm will look to get back on track against the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.
Best for the Broncos were Darren Lockyer and Brent Tate while for Melbourne Matt Orford was leading his side beautifully until his injury. It is not know at this early stage if Orford?s injury will see him on the sideline for an extended period.
League Unlimited player of the year points: 3 ? D Lockyer (Broncos) 2 ? B Tate (Broncos) 1 ? M Orford (Storm).
Scorers: BRONCOS Tries: Lockyer x 2, Maguire, Berrigan, Kelly, Minto Goals: De Vere 6/6 STORM Tries: Geyer, Kidwell, Slater Goals: Orford 1/2, Smith 1/1
By the clock:
5th min: TRY - Storm. Matt Orford continues his outstanding form with a sclicing run through the Broncos pack and then gives a nice flickpass to Matt Geyer who scores adjacent to the posts. Conversion successful. Storm 6-0.
13th min: TRY - Broncos. Lockyer scores off a great ball from Brent Tate as Tate made a break from inside his own 30 metre line. Conversion successful. 6 all.
30th min: Still no change in the scores but the Broncos are slowly gaining the upper hand. The Storm need to hang on until half time to be a chance in this match.
35th min: TRY - Storm. David Kidwell scores in the corner after a 60 metre darting run by Matt Orford who is pulled up inches from the tryline. Orford scooped on the ball after Ben Ikin from the Broncos tried a chip and chase. Conversion unsuccesful. Storm 10-6.
38th min: TRY - Maguire. Brisbane hit straight back with Berrigan slicing through the Storm defence to send Maguire over under the black dot. Conversion successful. Broncos 12-10.
HALF TIME: A very tight game of football with both sides making the most of their limited opportunities but Brisbane hold a slender two point lead and the second half should prove to be a hard fought 40 minutes. Melbourne are still in with a big chance of causing the upset over the Broncos and their superior record over Brisbane may be a factor if the Storm get home this afternoon.
43rd min: TRY - Broncos. Shaun Berrigan scores in the corner as the Broncos come the length of the field after only just keeping the Storm out at the other end. Conversion successful. Broncos 18-10.
47th min: TRY - Storm. Billy Slater scores after marcus Bai takes a bomb, runs downfield, brushes off Darren Lockyer and passes inside to Billy Slater to narrow the gap to two points. Conversion successful. Broncos 18-16.
62nd min: TRY - Broncos. Stuart Kelly busts three tackles to score in the corner and give the Broncos some much needed breathing space. Conversion successful. Broncos 24-16.
73rd min: TRY - Broncos. Scott Minto scores off a long Darren Lockyer pass that leaves Marcus Bai stranded. Conversion successful. Broncos 30-16.
80th min: TRY - Broncos. Lockyer races away to score as time expires to blow out the scoreline but it is not a true indication of how tough this game was. Conversion successful. Broncos 36-16.