Makeshift Melbourne find form to deny Roosters

The Sydney Roosters travelled south with a rare favourites tag for a team travelling to Melbourne's graveyard, but in spite of missing their biggest stars to representative duties, Bellamy's boys ignited to thrill their home crowd and take the game 21-4.

The game started with the visiting Roosters taking control of both play and field position, whilst Melbourne looking a shadow of their former selves with the dominance from the Roosters' forwards. Melbourne did however take the first points of the night through a penalty goal in the 15th minute after a Jake Friend strip. Widdop with the kicking duties made no mistake.

Roosters reclaimed control of the game just minutes later after Widdop put a foot into touch after gathering the ball from the kick off to give the visitors the opportunity they needed to hit back on the scoreboard. The Roosters hit back in style with an Anasta cut out pass creating a try for Leilua in the corner.

Roosters maintained control of the game, but their failure to convert it to further points hurt them when the young Melbourne halves began to get creative.  This creativity helped them reclaim the lead late in the first half, when Maurice Blair broke through the Roosters and linked with fellow youngster O'Neill to put on a try.  Widdop's boot put Melbourne further 2 in front giving them the 8-4 lead they took into the half time interval.

The second half saw a complete turn from the first, with the Roosters' discipline falling away whilst Melbourne gathered momentum to take control of the game.  The Storm increased their lead to 6 in the 46th minute after the Toosters gave away a penalty right in front of the sticks.  The Roosters' discipline continued to slip away as the half progressed, throwing away the opportunities they did get to level.

The visitors began to find some aggression which only helped the Melbourne crowd gather momentum willing their side to put the game away.  It was however the Roosters' ill discipline which helped most, with a penalty laying the ground work for Melbourne's next points. Melbourne opted to go for six points rather than 2 and were rewarded with a benefit of the doubt try to Beau Champion, converted by Widdop putting Melbourne ahead by 12 points coming into the final quarter of the match.

Roosters continued to struggle against themselves with ill discipline and poor last tackle options hurting them just as much as the wonderful kicking games being produced by the young Melbourne play makers. It was the boot of one of these young play makers which put the game all but beyond doubt in the 70th minute with Widdop guiding a field goal between the sticks.

Anasta botched the restart with his kick failing to make ten metres to assure Melbourne that they had put the game out of the reach of their Sydney guests. Although the Roosters' defence did a commendable job, Melbourne's was better still forcing wide runners out the sideline. Melbourne put the final nail in the coffin in the final minute of play with Duffie putting O'Neill in to score his second.  Melbourne took the game 21-4 to prove AAMI Park remains a graveyard no matter who the undertakers.


Match Details
Melbourne Storm 21 defeated Sydney Roosters 4
National Rugby League - Round 14 - Monday June 13, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Gavin Badger and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Adam Reid
Crowd: 9,843
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 8 Sydney Roosters 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Maurice Blair
2 Points - Gareth Widdop (2 Conversions, 2 Penalty Goals, 1 Field Goal)
1 Point - Jake Friend

MELBOURNE STORM (21)
Tries: Beau Champion, Justin O'Neill (2)
Field Goals: Gareth Widdop (1/1)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Gareth Widdop (2/2)

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (4)
Tries: Joseph Leilua
Conversions: Braith Anasta (0/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and a very warm welcome to Melbourne's AAMI Park for this clash between the Melbourne Storm and the Sydney Roosters to wrap up round 14 and close out the Queen's Birthday long weekend. Both sides missing stars on representative duties with Origin II on Wednesday.
TEAM NEWS: For Melbouren Atelia Vea is out and Rory Kostjasyn will come off the bench causing a backline reshuffle. Widdop will move to halfback and Maurice Blair will fill the five eigth position, Matt Duffie returns to the centres in jumper 19. Perrett is out for the Roosters, replaced by debutant Francic Vaiotu in jumper 19.
1 min: Referee Gavin Badger blows time on and we are under way.
1 min: Roosters eating the metres up easy in the first set, plenty of go forward from their front rowers.
2 min: Melbourne forwards respond in kind, end to end stuff early.
3 min: PENALTY to the Roosters to bring them into attacking range.
4 min: Leilua fails to take a pass from Carney to put an end to the raid from the Roosters.
6 min: Roosters with the better go forward now, threatening whilst Melbourne are having trouble getting out of their own half.
8 min: PENALTY to Melbourne, their first of the night, will help them into some better field position.
9 min: PENALTY on the back of that one, both infringements against Tom Symonds, this to put Melbourne in attacking range for their first opportunity at the Roosters' line for the night.
10 min: VIDEO REFEREE - won't be a try, but looking to see what the restart will be.
11 min: NO TRY! 20 metre restart.
12 min: Good push forward from the Roosters but Symonds loses to turn the ball over.
13 min: Perfect kick by Blair forces the line drop out and a repeat set to Melbourne.
14 min: PENALTY to Melbourne for a strip against Friend.
15 min: PENALTY GOAL
Melbourne opt for the penalty goal and Gareth Widdop's boot adds the 2 points.
Melbourne Storm 2-0
16 min: A mistake from Gareth Widdop, taking a big kick from Anasta, puts a foot over the dead ball line and forces a line drop out.
18 min: TRY
TRY to the Roosters. Anasta down the short side, cut out pass, to Joseph Leilua on the edge to go in and score. Anasta misses with the boot.
Sydney Roosters 4-2
20 min: Anasta boots one out on the fly, scrum to Melbourne on halfway.
21 min: Melbourne change over cheaply when Duffie is caught on the last.
23 min: Roosters look to have control over this game, making good yards and defending well.
25 min: Melbourne starting to get creative here, Widdop chances his hand with a chip kick, but the bounce goes in favour of the Roosters who gather it.
26 min: Roosters chipping here too, but this bounce favours Melbourne.
26 min: High kick from Melbourne, with almost a fantastic result for Melbourne, when Roosters can't see it, but Melbourne do a worse job regathering it and Roosters go on a run.
27 min: Roosters drop the football.
28 min: PENALTY from the scrum against the Roosters for not packing properly, great opportunity for the Storm now.
28 min: And Melbourne lose it in an ugly play.
30 min: PENALTY to the Roosters, this to put them in a great attacking position.
31 min: Desperate defence from Melbourne works wonders earning them a 20 metre tap.
32 min: High kick from Maurice Blair, relishing playing in the halves tonight.
33 min: Very high bomb from Carney, too deep for the chasers to reach.
36 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm! Maurice Blair with a smart play, works his way into a hole, splitting the Roosters' right edge pen before getting it onto O'Neill to score. Conversion by Widdop successful.
Melbourne Storm 8-4
37 min: Melbourne re energised and reinvigorated by the try, really taking it to the Roosters now.
38 min: Fantastic work from Champion, tackling Justin Carney into touch.
39 min: Melbourne knock on 30 out from their line, giving the Roosters a wonderful opportunity before half time.
40 min: Melbourne defence saves them, pushing Roosters debutant Vaiotu into touch.
40 min: The siren sounds, closely followed by a completed tackle to take us into the half time break with Melbourne ahead 8 points to 4. 41 min: Braith Anasta kicks the second half into play.
43 min: Slower start to the second half, but Melbourne look to be on top in these early stages of the second 40, with good go forward and a dominating kicking game.
43 min: Justin Carney drops the ball, gifting Melbourne a scrum 22 out from the Roosters' line.
44 min: PENALTY to the Storm against Jake Friend for making a tackle from an offside position.
46 min: PENALTY GOAL
Melbourne take the shot at goal from right in front and Widdop's boot adds the 2 points.
Melbourne Storm 10-4
48 min: Roosters a little ill disciplined early in this second half, turning the ball over cheaply.
50 min: Beau Champion injured in back play, may have done his shoulder again, being checked on by medical staff.
51 min: Melbourne lose the ball gifting the Roosters a scrum 20 out from the Melbourne line.
52 min: PENALTY to the Roosters who will be right on the attack.
52 min: PENALTY against the Roosters for an incorrect play the ball.
53 min: Bit of feeling between these sides now, Nuuasaula goes on report for a swinging arm and in all that, Melbourne are awarded another PENALTY.
56 min: Crowd gathering plenty of momentum, getting really into this one, whilst the Roosters are gathering plenty of aggression.
57 min: A Roosters' offload goes wrong, Melbourne claim the football and go right onto the attack.
58 min: PENALTY against Justin Carney for an obstruction, 5 metres out from the Roosters line.
59 min: Bellamy yelling for his men to take the two, but they opt to play it.
60 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Melbourne TRY.
61 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm. Benefit of the doubt to Beau Champion. Blair puts the kick in, a few hands compete for it in the air, Champion claims the grounding and is awarded the try. Widdop adds the extras.
Melbourne Storm 16-4
63 min: A chance with the Roosters with a break down the right side, but it is ground to halt with a Blair try saver ten out from the line.
64 min: Sisa Waqa knocks on and Roosters have a scrum 10 out from the Melbourne line.
65 min: Last tackle option does nothing for the Roosters, handing the ball back cheaply.
68 min: Melbourne youngster's producing wonderful kicking games, whilst the last tackle options for the roosters' play makers are not working so well for them.
70 min: FIELD GOAL
Gareth Widdop shoots for a field goal and gets it between the uprights, putting Melbourne 13 points in front.
Melbourne Storm 17-4
71 min: Braith Anasta attempting a short kick off fails to make 10 metres off the boot.
74 min: Game starting to wind down now, with the lead looking insurmountable with only 6 minutes left on the clock.
76 min: Roosters' defence still working very enthusiastically as Friend puts in a try saver on the line.
77 min: Vaiotu streaks down the sideline with half a break before he is stopped by Quinn pushing him out the sideline.
78 min: Melbourne defence enjoying showing the Roosters some sideline, this to give them what should be their last set of the night.
80 min: TRY
TRY to Melbourne. Duffie finds O'Neill on the right flank, putting him in for his second of the night. Widdop's boot misses for the first time tonight.
Melbourne Storm 21-4
80 min: And that will be all she wrote, Melbourne take the game 21-4.

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