Bulldogs win third straight as Storm suffocate

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have continued their march up the NRL ladder with a 20-18 over the Melbourne Storm in Adelaide tonight, where over 10,000 fans enjoyed a tight contest.

The Storm opened the scoring after a gritty opening ten minutes, with a lazy movement from the back three allowing Brett Finch to swoop on a Cooper Cronk kick and score a dubious try, the ball looked to have bounced but Phil Cooley satisfied there was no separation. The Storm led 6-0 after Greg Inglis converted - Canterbury were quick to fire back though with their next attacking set sending Bryson Goodwin in out wide off a great cut-out pass from Ben Barba.

Both sides traded tries again before the break - a similarly lazy effort from Luke Patten and the Bulldogs defence that led to the Storm's first try allowed Billy Slater to swoop on a Cronk grubber and give Melbourne the lead, then the Bulldogs struck back through a try under the posts to Jamal Idris off a pinpoint Brett Kimmorley bomb. The sides went to the break 12-all and the game in the balance.

The Bulldogs exerted plenty of pressure on the Storm line and managed a try through Shane Neumann after ten minutes of second half footy, but it was their solid defence that got them home, defending plenty of Melbourne attacking raids and only allowing the one try in through Sika Manu in the final five minutes. A Bryson Goodwin penalty goal had given them an eight point lead which was reduced to two with Manu's effort late in the piece. Desperate play from the Storm in the dying stages saw them unable to break out of their own half, and the 'Dogs held on for victory.

Canterbury will need to keep winning these types of matches as the season continues - next Sunday they will face a rivalry round battle against the Sydney Roosters at the SFS, while the Storm will look to restore some pride following their fourth loss in five matches when they face the Warriors at Mt Smart.

The win lifts the 'Dogs to tenth on the table and they could finish the weekend in that position if the Knights and Eels fail to overcome their lesser opponents in Cronulla and North Queensland over the coming days. The Storm will stay at the bottom but have the firepower to play spoiler for the remaining weeks of 2010.

Match Details
Canterbury Bulldogs 20 defeated Melbourne Storm 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 18 - Saturday July 10, 2010 7:30pm
Venue: Adelaide Oval, SA
Referee: Matt Cecchin and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Luke Potter
Crowd: 10350
Halftime: Canterbury Bulldogs 12 Melbourne Storm 12

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Ben Hannant
2 Points - Jamal Idris (1 Try)
1 Point - Cooper Cronk

Tries: Shane Neumann, Jamal Idris, Bryson Goodwin
Field Goals: Brett Kimmorley (0/1)
Conversions: Bryson Goodwin (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Bryson Goodwin (1/1)

Tries: Billy Slater, Sika Manu, Brett Finch
Conversions: Greg Inglis (1/1), Cameron Smith (2/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Your eyes aren't deceiving you - the venue IS Adelaide Oval, this evening's game is the battling Canterbury Bulldogs and the wooden spooners for the year the Melbourne Storm. The 'Dogs are looking to build on consecutive victories tonight in the hope of keeping their 2010 campaign alive, while the Storm are still sailing wildly into the night with nothing to play for but pride and charity.
Toyota Cup saw Canterbury victorious 42-20 over Melbourne at Bass Hill earlier today. Shortly after the Bulldogs faced Auckland in NSW Cup, and the Bulldogs came away winners by a whopping 54-0. The Bulldogs ran up a huge score in the match, finishing with a successful conversion by... would you believe it... front rower Jarrad Hickey! The Storm faced Newtown in Melbourne earlier this afternoon in the other NSW Cup match, with the Jets 26-20 winners.
The Canterbury side is as per program, Dene Halatau drops off the bench. Melbourne lose Justin O'Neill, who will be replaced by Chase Stanley. Cameron Smith drops back to the bench with Ryan Hinchcliffe the run-on hooker.
The Storm trot out in their white away strip, the 'Dogs make their way onto Adelaide Oval in their blue strip. We're ready for action at Adelaide Oval! Great crowd in ready to watch some quality rugby league.
1 min: Ennis puts boot to ball, we're underway and the Storm hit the ball up first through Bryan Norrie.
2 min: Cronk's last tackle bomb is spilled backwards by Luke Patten in goal but collected by Winitana at the back. Canterbury working it out.
3 min: Hinchcliffe offloads to Norrie from dummy-half and referee De Las Heras rules a forward pass. The Bulldogs with a scrum-feed near halfway.
4 min: Hannant moving the ball through the hands gets it to Kimmorley but little Noddy can't handle it. Knock-on, scrum Melbourne.
5 min: Another forward pass from Melbourne is called back as they get just inside the 'Dogs half. Canterbury with another chance.
6 min: Penalty Canterbury, a chance here on the Melbourne line.
7 min: A poor fifth tackle option, the grubber finding it's way directly to Slater's arms.
8 min: Penalty Melbourne, a good piggy-back out of their half with the 'Dogs inside the ten.
9 min: Finch with a poor fifth tackle kick, Goodwin takes it very easily in goal. 20m restart Canterbury.
10 min: Another terrible fifth tackle kick from the Bulldogs, this time from halfway it finds Slater on the full from Ennis's boot.
12 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Storm try. Very soft from the Bulldogs, if Finch has got it down they should be filthy with themselves.
12 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Brett Finch. Conversion attempt by Greg Inglis successful.
Well that's clearly bounced and video referee Phil Cooley has awarded it. Very iffy decision but the Storm have the lead and the Bulldogs probably deserve to concede it with the lack of urgency shown there. Inglis converts from a reasonably easy position.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
15 min: Big fifth tackle kick from Cronk is fielded this time by Patten near the tryline. The 'Dogs work it upfield but again the fifth tackle kick, this time from Barba, finds Slater on the full. They've gotta address that if they want to win, Canterbury.
16 min: Another dummy-half forward pass from Melbourne, this time inside their own half with the 'Dogs to attavck.
18 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Bryson Goodwin. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful.
Good ball movement from the Bulldogs there, Kimmorley finding Barba who floats a cut-out pass to Goodwin, the Bulldogs winger scores in the corner. Attempting to convert his own try - he doesn't miss from the sideline and we're level!
6 all
20 min: Kimmorley with another error as the 'Dogs looked to cross halfway. Melbourne with the ball inside Canterbury's half.
21 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try - Billy Slater has gathered a ball from some lazy chasing on a fifth tackle kick. Looks good, Storm will go to the lead here.
22 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Great kick through from Cronk and Slater's there, no Bulldogs are. Luke Patten lazy at the back costs the Bulldogs for the second time today.
Melbourne Storm 12-6
25 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Jamal Idris. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful.
Kimmorley bombs on the fifth... Idris is racing through... he's got it from Slater and scored under the posts! Goodwin makes no mistake from in front, that's Goodwin's 19th consecutive conversion.
12 all
28 min: The Bulldogs do well to absorb the pressure and Goodwin is safe again at the back. They work it up the park and Barba does well to get a grubbing kick into the Storm half on the last.
30 min: Cooper Cronk hoists it high on the last... Inglis bearing down on Winitana... never mind, it's out on the full! Bulldogs handover about 30m from their own line. 31 min: VIDEO REFERRE - possible Bulldogs try. A bomb is left to bounce and the Bulldogs cross through Winitana. We're looking for if a player was taken out.
31 min: NO TRY - Penalty Storm - Idris is ruled to have taken out Greg Inglis.
32 min: The Storm get to the other end of the field and on tackle five the Bulldogs are in trouble... is Inglis in? No, held up. Handover.... and now they spill it. Melbourne pressure the 'Dogs line.
34 min: Fourth tackle kick... a Storm player looked to have been taken out in the chase but De Las Heras and Cecchin have no problem with it. Patten fields it on the full in-goal. 20m restart.
35 min: Another poor kick on the last from Canterbury finds Slater on the full.
38 min: Penalty Melbourne inside their own half for a strip and Cronk takes a quick tap and catches the Bulldogs napping. Storm attacking now...
39 min: Cameron Smith runs it on the last but some desperate defence from Jamal Idris keeps him out. Handover. Further upfield on tackle two and Melbourne have given away a penalty. With a minute left Canterbury will go on the attack here.
40 min: A bit of niggle going into halftime with Ennis and Slater and later Sika Manu getting a bit of push and shove but it's really handbags at ten paces as De Las Heras says it's halftime.
Impressive stuff from both sides as the HALFTIME siren sounds. We're at 12-all in what has for the most part been a pretty good contest. A couple of lapses on kicks through the line have brought the Bulldogs undone for the Storm's two tries, while the Bulldogs have done well to cross twice and so far taken the game to the Storm with gusto, responding with a 6-point burst each time the Melbourne side has scored. The second half is there for the taking, join us soon for all the action.
41 min: Second half underway at Adelaide Oval, Ennis is off for Blake Green. Fourth tackle and Idris tries a silly offload which Cam Smith cleans up. Storm to attack early.
42 min: Fifth tackle kick goes through Matt Duffie's hands and over the touchline. Bulldogs handover 10m from their own line.
43 min: ANOTHER forward pass from Storm utility Ryan Hinchcliffe. Bulldogs with the ball in Storm territory.
45 min: Barba with a sneaky kick through on the fourth tackle catches Billy Slater in goal and the Bulldogs defence converges to force him in goal. Line dropout.
47 min: Kimmorley with the kick through this time and it catches Billy Slater in goal - another line drop-out and pressure builds further on the Storm.
50 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Shane Neumann. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful.
The pressure finally tells on the Storm, the Bulldogs with the numbers on the right, Idris with a great offload for Shane Neumann to score about 5 metres in from touch. Goodwin's conversion is... good! 20 straight for the Canterbury number five.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18-12
54 min: A break up the middle from Dane Nielsen and not long after Cooper Cronk puts it up the sideline and Inglis races for it but it's found its way over the touchline. Bulldogs scrum 20m from their own line.
57 min: A big kick from the Storm, Winitana can't get to it in time and he's spilled it on collecting it. Storm scrum and they'll look to level the scores with a try on this set. Can the 'Dogs defence keep up?
59 min: The Bulldogs defence is doing remarkably well to hold the Storm out, Kimmorley knocks on after a messy set of passes. Storm scrum 10m out from the 'Dogs line.
60 min: Kick through the line... Winitana knocks it dead, drop-out. Canterbury will be forced to defend another set.
62 min: The Bulldogs defence has done well here, finally an error forced and the Bulldogs will get a scrum after no advantage was played. An important result for the "home" side there.
63 min: Loose passing out the back within their own half from the Bulldogs sees the Storm come up with it but they're ruled to have knocked it on.
65 min: Some fanciful ball for the 'Dogs on the last and Neumann puts a grubber into the in-goal, they almost force Slater but it's a penalty, the defenders coming through were in front of Neumann.
66 min: Easy metres for Melbourne - Cronk goes aerial on the last and it's a line dropout. Storm with a set on the 'Dogs line here.
66 min: A solid crowd figure of 10,350 at Adelaide Oval this evening.
67 min: The Storm go wide, Slater to Duffie and Goodwin slides, PATTEN! He comes in and barges Duffie into touch! The 'Dogs looking concerned, Patten is unconscious. Massive head clash here and Patten will leave the field here.
67 min: Jamal Idris returns to the field for Canterbury as Patten is walked from the park. Bulldogs scrum 10m from their own line.
68 min: Penalty Bulldogs to get them into Storm territory. A try here could crush the Storm...
Brett Kimmorley tries a one-pointer with eleven minutes to go. It bounces off the upright and Ennis is there to pick it up but he's clearly offside. Melbourne penalty on their own line.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18-12
70 min: Long kick finds new fullback Ben Barba and Greg Inglis comes through and tackles him - and drags him, and picks him up, and throws him back in goal. Penalty Bulldogs, the momentum stopped in the tackle.
71 min: Penalty Bulldogs inside the Storm half, a charged down kick picked up by an offside Storm player. Canterbury to shoot for goal...
Bryson Goodwin from 34m out and about 5m to the right of the posts. He does it, the Bulldogs by eight with eight left.
Canterbury Bulldogs 20-12
73 min: Melbourne get the short kickoff and will pressure the 'Dogs line...
74 min: Kimmorley comes away with the ball and runs 40m as the Storm's last tackle option fails!
75 min: Hannant penalised at the play-the-ball with some niggle from Sika Manu and the 'Dogs will be forced to defend. Unusual penalty but the correct call. Can the Storm narrow the gap?
76 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Sika Manu. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Sika Manu is in for Melbourne down the short side, the Bulldogs attempt to rake it and Sika still gets it down. Smith converts, two in it in the final four!
Canterbury Bulldogs 20-18
79 min: 90 seconds on the clock and Blake Green finds touch on the Storm's 20m. The Melbourne players rush to pack the scrum. This is likely the Melbourne Storm's last throw.
80 min: A Storm error down the right flank inside 50 seconds remaining, some composed football should get Canterbury home here.
80 min: Kimmorley finds touch, the Storm scrum packs with Slater at lock, time off. He puts his head up... time on! FULLTIME! Canterbury run out victors here 20-18.

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