Melbourne comfortable over errant Tigers

Melbourne have sprung into fifth position, after a comfortable 28-6 victory over the lackluster Wests Tigers in front of 7,782 fans at Campbelltown Stadium tonight.

It has been the week from hell, for the Wests Tigers. The whole Farah/Potter drama wouldn't lie dormant through the media, while they continued to lose troops including young halfback, Luke Brooks on game-day. Tigers put all that aside in the opening exchanges, as Sitaleki Akauola playing in the backline, found space and the try-line in the 8th minute. 

The opening exchanges was the best it got, for the tumultuous Tigers, as Melbourne clicked into gear. Cooper Cronk, who recently made his return was in sparkling form putting a full-stop on the doubts about his fitness. The first two tries were directly relating to the Queensland halfback, who set Marika Koroibete, returning to Campbelltown, since his mid-season transfer. Once with the boot, once with a laser pass that dissected the defence. 

Next it was one of Cronk's Queensland team-mates, in the third origin, Will Chambers who struck another blow to the battered carcass of the Wests Tigers. The centre was put into space from who else but Cronk? aided by a slip from Mitchell Moses, Chambers took it the rest of the way for an 18-six lead at the half-time break. 

Storm scored in bunches tonight - the 50th minute brought upon a Commonwealth Games-like effort from Sisa Waqa, who just plucked the ball from the air and crashed to the turf, planting it easily after some handling errors, earlier in the game. Tonight was Cronk's world, everyone else, was just a spectator. 

The big three had one more trick left for a punch-drunk Tigers outfit, looking for the full-time siren, as the space opened up from Chambers down the right, got it to his fellow Queenslander Billy Slater, who found LeagueUnlimited Man of the Match, Cooper Cronk who spied Cameron Smith looming on the inside, to put it across under the sticks. 

The Storm were in cruise control after a Cooper Cronk masterclass, leading 28-six, they never gave the Tigers a sniff despite a litany of handling errors in the last 15 minutes. The win lifted the Storm into fifth position, leaping their 2012 grand final opponents Canterbury-Bankstown and firming for a tilt at the title later in the season.


Match Details
Wests Tigers 6 Melbourne Storm 28
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium
Crowd: 7782
Halftime Score: Wests Tigers 6 Melbourne Storm 18

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cooper Cronk
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 point - Marika Koroibete

WESTS TIGERS (6)
Tries: Sitaleki Akauola
Field Goals:
Conversions: Pat Richards (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Mitchell Moses (0/1)

MELBOURNE STORM (28)
Tries: Marika Koroibete (2), Cameron Smith, Will Chambers, Sisa Waqa
Field Goals:
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Ben Roberts (0/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES:

WST: The Tigers have lost young halfback, Luke Brooks for tonight's clash. He is replaced by Blake Austin, who moves into his position while second rower, Curtis Sironen, goes into five-eighth. Sitaleki Akauola moves into Sironen's vacant secondrow spot.

MEL: No changes. They are 1-17.

Welcome to Campbelltown Sports Stadium, a crisp one at that, for the final fixture of Round 17 which has seen quite a few lopsided score-lines over the weekend. Tonight, Wests Tigers honour Simon Dwyer, with #StandWithSimon and $10 from every ticket sold, going straight to the former Tiger. Otherwise it has been tumultous week for the joint venture, as the Mick Potter/Robbie Farah situation bubbled along after their loss to the Dragons last Sunday. For their part, Melbourne has had a quiet build-up and come to Campbelltown, looking to secure their top eight position. KICK-OFF is at 7:00PM AEST.

1: Here comes the away side; Melbourne in their white away strip are onto a hostile Campbelltown Stadium. Next is the Wests Tigers, led out by 150 game man, Keith Galloway, onto their home turf. They line up on halfway, ready to kick-off!

5: PENALTY Tigers - Melbourne were never back the ten.

7: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Will Chambers makes an unforced error.

Sisa, Sisa, Sisa. He made a great take on last but as he was coming to ground, he throws it to Chambers who wasn't expecting it.

8: PENALTY Tigers - Cronk got a sneaky hand in.

8: VIDEO REFEREE: Akauola might have snuck inside the touchline, checking grounding.

8: TRY WESTS TIGERS
Scored by Sitaleki Akauola. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Akauola did it easily! It was the simple overlap, that gave them the space for the play.

9: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION WESTS TIGERS
Conversion attempt by Pat Richards successful.

Richards, who has struggled with injury lately, shrugs it off there and swings it inside the posts.

10: Blake Austin was on a slip n slide there, as he thought he eyed the hole but only got introduced to the sideline.

11: VIDEO REFEREE: Jesse Bromwich looked to power his way over, checking grounding and obstruction.

11: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! They have deemed Smith, had obstructed a Tiger.

13: PENALTY Tigers for a blocker! Last time I saw that, Ben Hornby got pinged for it.

14: That was strength from Mahe Fonua. He was one-on-one with Akauola, who eyed a double but he was grabbed and tossed over the sideline.

17: PENALTY Storm, Farah stripping the ball.

18: PENALTY Storm, smart run from the Queensland and Australian captain, caught the marker not square.

19: VIDEO REFEREE: Checking onside.

19: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Marika Koroibete. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! That was beautifully worked by the Storm. Three charges close to the sticks created space out wide, leaving Ben Roberts to chip it to Koroibete, who held his run well.

20: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cameron Smith, looking to make it six-a-piece, he does so.

21: SIX MORE for the Storm! Blair knocked it down.

23: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Marika Koroibete. Kick to come.

Too big, too strong, is Koroibete. It was a lovely ball from a stationary Cronk, who found Marika on the chest who steamrolled Mitchell Moses.

24: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

It's the same position, as the first kick for Smith, can he make it 2/2? Yes he can, sneaking it inside.

26: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Sitaleki Akauola makes an unforced error.

Since his try, Akauola has had a horror show on that wing. He's been caught out twice and now dropped a spiraling bomb.

27: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Marika Koroibete makes an unforced error.

Storm tried a scrum play but Slater erred giving, an inside ball to Koroibete who never had a chance.

27: It's a double whammy, as they concede a PENALTY for a strip.

29: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Bodene Thompson makes an unforced error.

Farah darted from dummy-half, trying to find Bodene Thompson who couldn't handle it.

31: PENALTY Storm, for interference.

32: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Marika Koroibete makes an unforced error.

Koroibete is the Storm target man tonight but he couldn't rake that in.

36: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Will Chambers. Kick to come.

Once again, Cooper Cronk putting on a passing exhibition. The short ball to Chambers put the centre into space and with Moses slipping, it was an easy passage for him.

37: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

An easier kick for Smith, who duly puts it over.

38: PENALTY Tigers. The Richards kick-off, was a rainmaker, as he forced Cronk to take out a Tiger.

39: VIDEO REFEREE: Curtis Sironen, ignored his support and goes himself, checking grounding.

39: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Play-the-ball.

40: Sisa Waqa makes the acquaintance of the cameras on the dead-ball line, as he had to bat a ball dead.

40: PENALTY Tigers, Akauola was taken out by Slater, as he was chasing the chipped kick.

40: The Tigers opt for goal.. Pat Richards is off through injury, so Mitchell Moses will take..

40: UNSUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL WESTS TIGERS
Penalty goal attempt by Mitchell Moses unsuccessful.

Moses sprays it wide. HALFTIME.

40: Bulletproof is ringing through Campbelltown, as Wests will need to be heroic in this second half, if they want to overcome a Storm line-up, who has clicked.

41: Storm kick-off, here we go!

41: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Robbie Farah makes an unforced error.

The good start is undone, Robbie Farah tried to milk a penalty but loses it.

43: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Mahe Fonua makes an unforced error.

Fonua made about ten errors there, in the bat-back.

47: PENALTY Tigers, the crowd has been baying for that, all night.

49: PENALTY Storm, laying on the player.

51: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

What a kick, what a catch! Sisa Waqa just got a run-up and lept over Simona, who was helpless, as the winger brought the ball down.

52: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

A third sideline attempt for Smith, who is being heckled by the locals, pushes it wide.

54: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Cameron Smith. Kick to come.

If it wasn't over before, it was now. Chambers started it down the right before going inside to Slater who went to Cronk, who found Smith who just had to dive over.

55: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cam(don't call me Cameron) steps up, to convert his own try and does so.

58: Farah stabbed a grubber through after Akauola was released down the right.

60: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Marika Koroibete makes an unforced error.

Austin just gave room service to Fonua, who had jammed in.. the centre tried to get it to Koroibete, who spilled it cold.

60: PENALTY Tigers - right on the attack.

62: Another grubber through the line, produces a result for the Tigers. Six more incoming.

62: VIDEO REFEREE: Blake Austin, was a rabbit through the foxhole there. Checking double movement and grounding.

62: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! It was called a knock-on from Austin.

64: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Sisa Waqa makes an unforced error.

Waqa leaps high again but knocks on.

66: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Curtis Sironen makes an unforced error.

Farah trying too hard now, goes from dummy-half and sends Sironen a hospital ball.

68: PENALTY Tigers, Thompson wanted to go quickly but he hadn't taken the mark.

69: UNFORCED ERROR WESTS TIGERS
Martin Taupau makes an unforced error.

Tapau tries to go kapow! but goes oh wow, as he spills it.

71: Akauola has got his sights on Slater now, the forward-cum-winger, has taken Slater late. He's ON REPORT and it's a PENALTY.

72: PENALTY Storm, Galloway should've known better.. slapping the man trying to play-the-ball.

72: PENALTY Storm - Galloway once again, he was trampling the ruck.

74: UNSUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL MELBOURNE STORM
Penalty goal attempt by Ben Roberts unsuccessful.

Ben Roberts will step up for the kick.. as Keith Galloway is subbed off. Back on-field, Roberts hits the woodwork and it's TIGER BALL.

74: PENALTY TIGERS! They will have a chance for points.

76: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ryan Hoffman makes an unforced error.

Hoffman was whacked by Thompson, losing it.

77: PENALTY Tigers.

80: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Billy Slater makes an unforced error.

Slater knocked it on going for the leap.

80: FULLTIME :: Comfortable win for Melbourne in the end.

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