Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Finals Week One Brisbane Broncos 18 vs Melbourne Storm 24
For the second year in a row, the Storm have travelled up to Brisbane for the 3rd vs 6th clash in Week 1 of the finals, and got up to win.
The Storm took the early lead with a try to Jake Webster off the back of a great Orford cross field bomb. Minto scored after 20 minutes after a nice grubber kick from Lockyer that found Tate. The Deja Vu struck early when Orford put in a great kick for Slater to run on to and score, loosely resembling his Origin try in 2004. Matt King added another try when he out jumped Minto to score out on the other sideline. That equated to an 18-4 half time lead.
Brisbane got out of the blocks quickly in the second half, with a try to Darren Smith after a long break by Minto. In the 57th minute Brent Tate was denied a try after Orford was obstructed by a dummy runner. Seven minutes later Brett Seymour got the Broncos back to inside a converted try with a penalty goal. The Storm responded almost instantly with a try to youngster Greg Inglis. Seymour scored with 5 minutes to go to give the Broncos a sniff of extra time, but the Storm held strong to run out 24-18 winners.
The Storm have injury concerns with Billy Slater (ankle ligament) and Robbie Kearns (shoulder).
[pic: Cameron Smith]
Broncos v Storm match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: BRISBANE BRONCOS 18 Tries: Minto, D. Smith, Seymour Goals: Seymour (3/4) MELBOURNE STORM 24 Tries: Webster, Slater, King, Inglis Goals: Smith (2/2) Orford (2/2)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane) Crowd: 25,193 Referee: Stephen Clark Half Time: Storm 18-4
Kickoff soon at Suncorp Stadium in this 3rd vs 6th match.
For the Broncos, Barnes, Costigan and Mapp drop off the extended bench. For Melbourne, Turner will start with Hoffman dropping to the bench. Cronk is not playing, Inglis has been moved onto the bench.
0 min: Melbourne kick off in the Second Qualifying Final!
4 min: Both teams showing plenty of enterprise on attack. Little between the teams at the moment.
7 min: Both teams trying some short kicks that are being defended very well.
10 min: NO TRY - Storm Johnson goes over but the final pass is ruled forward.
12 min: Matt King goes up for a bomb and is stopped short of the line on the last tackle. Still 0-0 somehow.
14 min: TRY - Storm Orford puts a kick up to the wing of Webster, he flies high over Bott and scores just in from touch. Smith converts. This try had been coming. Storm 6-0.
20 min: TRY - Broncos The Broncos put in a grubber kick, Tate gets the ball and fires it out to Minto who scores. Seymour misses the conversion. Storm 6-4.
28 min: The Broncos have had the running of the game since their first try. Bott spills the ball with a chance at the line. Still 6-4 to Melbourne.
30 min: TRY - Storm Inside his own half, Orford puts in a great chip kick that is regathered by Slater and he scores next to the posts. Smith converts. Storm 12-4.
32 min: The Storm go 100 metres from the set after scoring the try, but drop the ball with the line begging.
35 min: NEWS - Robbie Kearns looks to have injured his left arm.
36 min: TRY - Storm A great set from the Storm put them in position for the bomb to go to the left wing. Matt King jumps over Minto and scores near touch. Orford converts. Storm 18-4.
40 min: NEWS - Slater injured contesting a bomb at the end of the half.
HALF TIME: The Storm lead by 14 at half time having looked the better team for long periods in the first half. Interestingly, every try so far has come from a kick. Possession is 50/50, the Storm are a lot sharper on attack however.
40 min: The second half kicks off! Can the Broncos show the form they had earlier this season and come back from the 14 point defecit?
42 min: TRY - Broncos The Broncos find space out on the right. Minto flies down the wing, he gets it inside to Darren Smith who scores out wide in the tackle of Orford. Seymour converts. Storm 18-10.
43 min: NEWS - Kearns gone for tonight with a dislocated shoulder.
47 min: The Broncos break out but Tate loses the ball trying to pass it to a wide open Minto.
53 min: The Storm run the ball on the last, Bell kicks and the ball lands in Row L. Brisbane looking better at the moment.
55 min: Slater bombs a certain try. Bell breaks down the sidline, gets it to Webster who passes it to Slater who can't hold the ball with the line begging.
57 min: NO TRY - Broncos Tate crosses but Darren Smith is ruled to have interfered with Orford, not allowing him to make a tackle.
62 min: NEWS - Slater has now injured his ankle catching a kick. Hill passes the ball into touch.
64 min: PENALTY GOAL - Broncos Seymour collects two points from a Storm indiscretion. Storm lead 18-12. Slater is taken from the field.
66 min: Cameron Smith smashes Lockyer on the last tackle on a promising attacking raid.
68 min: TRY - Storm Inglis runs onto a stunning Orford pass to score under the sticks. Orford converts. Brisbane look to be consigned to another loss. Storm 24-12.
73 min: Broncos are finding gaps, but the Storm are showing great desperation.
75 min: TRY - Broncos Seymour goes through a yawning gap to score about 20 in from touch. Seymour kicks the huge conversion. Grandstand finish coming up! Storm 24-18.
78 min: Broncos get a scrum just over 50 metres out.
80 min: Minto is forced to concede a goal line drop out.
FULL TIME: The Storm have won an exciting game to go through to the next week of the finals.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - J Webster (Storm) 1 - D Johnson (Storm) -----------------------------------------