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It would've been a tough ask for any severely injured NRL side to defeat the Storm at home. Unfotunately the Bulldogs fell way short as they were hammered by the Storm 46-0 tonight in Melbourne.
With a lot of big name players out of tonight's line-up thru injury, the Bulldogs started off the game soundly. With the penalty count 3-0 favour early in the half, the visitors couldn't quite nail the tough defensive line to score.
It took Melbourne 14 minutes to open the scoring, but from then on never really looked back, just ticking the score over nicely to go to the halftime break, 22-0 up on the Bulldogs.
Once again a nice steady start by the Storm slowly compounded into a try fest in the second half.
Matty Geyer, a late change in for Will Chambers who may be out for the season with a ligament injury, managed an impressive 2 tries, almost 3.
The Storm never looked threatened tonight, with the whole side stepping up. The Bulldogs definitely need a bit of luck in the injury department before next week..
Melbourne Storm 46
Tries: Cameron Smith, Matt Geyer (2), Israel Folau, Steve Turner, Jeremy Smith, Michael Crocker, Cooper Cronk
Goals: Cameron Smith (7/8) Canterbury Bulldogs 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match
3 Points: Cooper Cronk (Storm) 2 Points: Cameron Smith (Storm) 1 Point: Jeremy Smith (Storm)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Inuries galore greet tonight's match in Melbourne. Chambers a late withdrawl from the Storm side, looking to be a season ending ligament injury at training.. Sonny Bill, Holdsworth, Utai, Hickey, Armit all out for the Bulldogs.
1 min: Bulldogs kick off to get the game underway.
3 min: Perfect conditions for footy tonight, the wind almost non existent.
5 min: Steady start by the two sides. A nothing kick by Cronk, was chipped thru by Turner almost resulting in a try for the home side.
8 min: 3-0 penalty count early in the game to the Bulldogs as they are hot on attack.
12 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - Storm.
17 min: First penalty for Melbourne in the match allowing them attacking options 20 metres out from their line.
18 min: NO TRY - Storm. Johnson close to scoring, is deemed held up by the video ref on the 4th tackle, smothered by 3 Bulldog defenders.
24 min: Both teams soaking up the attack with relative ease at this stage.
27 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Johnson makes an excellent break down the field, busting the Bulldogs defence wide open. Good team effort for Folau to finish. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful. Melbourne Storm 16-0
35 min: TRY Melbourne Storm A penalty helping out the Storm's attack. Play from the 20 metre mark set up well with a high kick out to Folau tapped back, with Turner playing to the whistle to cross the line and score. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 22-0
HALFTIME: The Bulldogs, severely underpowered, hung on for the first part of the half, but have been mowed down by the powerful Storm attack.
41 min: Smith gets the 2nd half underway amongst the smoke hovering from the halftime fireworks.
44 min: NO TRY - Storm. A high kick in goal by Cronk in goal is tapped back by Dallas and Quinn looks to have scored. Replay shows Hoff man's foot was on the line.
53 min: Slater falls heavily following a high jump and lands awkwardly. Back into the game.
58 min: The Bulldogs haven't given up yet in this match.
65 min: A bonus set of six for the Bulldogs allows them their first real attacking chance in this half.
70 min: Everytime the Bulldogs come close to their line, pressure by the defence wind thru, the many metres are gained by the home side on a counter attack..
73 min: TRY Melbourne Storm The Bulldogs defence just too worn down as Jeremy Smith hits the hole perfectly, steaming thru and passes to a flying Geyer who scores. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 40-0
75 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Almost deja vu as Smith once again has the Bulldogs defence in tatters, with a flying Geyer backing up. Geyer draws the tackler, and Cronk scores his 1st try of the season. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 46-0
80 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT - Storm. Finshing off the game with pressure.
FULLTIME: Try as they might, the Bulldogs side, down on manpower, were no match for the Storm at home.