Melbourne finish on a
high note

Round 26
Melbourne Storm 30 v Manly Sea Eagles 20
at Olympic Park Melbourne
Referee: Paul Simpkins

Match Summary:

The Melbourne Storm have defeated the Manly Sea Eagles 30-20 at Olympic Park this evening.

The game was played at a furious pace and up until the 60th minute, it was anyones game but with the game there for the taking Melbourne put their foot on the pedal and away they went.

Both teams have electrifying backlines and both were in full flight with some superb end to end action from both teams with Greg Inglis, Steve Turner and Brett Stewart all providing some great highlights throughout the match.

The match was high quality and for Matt Orford and Steven Bell, it was a sombre return to Olympic Park with both former Storm players having good games in a beaten side. Every time Orford touched the ball the Storm fans let him know this was no longer his home ground with the boos resonating throughout Olympic Park for the entire match.

For Manly, a win would have secured them a top four berth but their immediate fate rests on the outcome of the Broncos/Warriors match tomorrow and if the Broncos win, Manly finish fifth and if the Broncos lose, Manly secure a home final.

Melbourne will face off against the Eels next Sunday and on current form, it would take a massive effort from the Eels to shake the minor premiers at home.

Melbourne Storm: 30
Tries: Michael Crocker, Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith, Steve Turner
Goals: Matt Geyer 1/1, Cameron Smith 4/5
Manly Sea Eagles: 20
Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve Matai, Steve Bell, Michael Robertson
Goals: Matt Orford 2/4

Crowd: 13,991

By the Clock:
1 min: NEWS We are underway at a packed Olympic Park. Plenty to play for with Manly trying to secure a top four berth and all important home final.

6 min: NEWS Possible try to Greg Inglis...

6 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Video ref came back with a ref's call and Paul Simpkins had no doubt what he thought, awarding the Storm the opening try. Conversion successful.
Storm 6-0

11 min: NEWS Very open game with both sides happy to use the ball. Real end to end stuff at the moment but the Storm are looking by far the better side at the moment.

15 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Steve Bell has a happy homecoming scoring a try in heavy traffic as Manly hit back to possibly level the scores. Conversion successful.
6 all.

25 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Manly hit the lead for the first time in the match and they are looking much better than Melbourne at the moment. Michael Robertson scored in the corner without a finger being lad on him. Conversion unsuccessful.
Sea Eagles 10-6

35 min: NEWS Shayney Dunley put on report for a high shot. With his record, he could miss the entire finals series and half of next season. Certainly no love lost between these two teams.

35 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
The Storm are in through Cameron Smith just before the break. Conversion unsuccessful.
10 all.

38 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Melbourne hit the front again through Michael Crocker. Soft Manly defence allowed him to score right next to the posts. Crucial try right before half time. Conversion successful.
Storm 16-10

41 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half.

53 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Manly score the opening try of the second half and it's game on in Melbourne. This one will go down to the wire. Brett Stewart finished off a good Manly backline move to get the Sea Eagles within two points. Conversion unsuccessful.
Storm 16-14

56 min: NEWS Possible try to Matt Geyer from the Storm. Video ref checking and I can't see too much wrong with the grounding.

56 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Try awarded after Matt Geyer caught a Cooper Cronk bomb to score in the corner. Conversion successful.
Storm 22-14

66 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Steve Turner finishes off an excellent backline movement and the Manly Sea Eagles in one go with a great try in the corner. Conversion successful.
Storm 28-14

69 min: NEWS Cooper Cronk penalised for a double movement.

74 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Consolation try to Manly through Steve Matai. Looked to be held up for mine but the video ref awarded the try under the benefit of the doubt rule. Conversion successful.
Storm 28-20

80 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne Storm
Matt Geyer puts the icing on the cake for the Storm with a penalty goal on full time. Great game of footy. It was fast and furious and a good preview for what lies ahead in the finals.
Storm 30-20
----------------------------------------- players of the match:
3 - Cameron Smith (Storm)
2 - Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles)
1 - Steve Turner (Storm)