Methodical Melbourne claim Canterbury scalp

The Melbourne Storm has run-out convincing 30-16 victors over the Canterbury Bulldogs in front of 11592 fans at AAMI Park tonight.

The Storm got off to the best possible start after just 49 seconds when winger Matt Duffie crossed out wide. Kicking on the fifth tackle of the match, Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk attempted a 40/20 and as the ball looked to cross the sideline, Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba knocked the ball back into the field of play. Unluckily for the Canterbury side, winger Bryson Goodwin could not retreat in time to help his fullback out and Duffie toed the ball ahead, before forcing it just inside the deadball line. The Storm extended their lead past a converted try eight minutes later through a Cameron Smith penalty goal. The Bulldogs were not perturbed though, and former Storm winger Steve Turner took advantage of a perfectly weighted Trent Hodkinson grubber to touch down. Ten minutes later, the Bulldogs had a try controversially taken off them by video referee Chris Ward. Corey Payne's decoy run was ruled to have taken Storm halfback Cooper Cronk out, although replays show it was a poor read from the halfback, as Canterbury centre Tim Lafai crossed adjacent to the uprights. It would turn out to be a crucial call, as minutes later; Melbourne extended their lead to ten points when Kevin Proctor took full advantage of a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick which was batted back by Billy Slater. The Storm completed the scoring for the first half in the shadows of halftime. Adam Blair, who terrorised the Bulldogs right hand side defence delivered a perfect around-the-corner pass to five-eighth Gareth Widdop, whose flick pass found centre Dane Nielsen unmarked out wide. Cameron Smith's unsuccessful conversion saw the sides head to the break with the Storm holding a commanding 18-4 lead.

The Bulldogs started the second half in similar fashion to the first with hooker Michael Ennis knocking on at dummy half on just the second tackle. Minutes later, winger Matt Duffie scored his second try of the night. Centre Beau Champion got on the outside of Bulldogs' centre Tim Lafai, before flicking a pass to the winger who raced 40 metres untouched. Six minutes later, Storm interchange forward Jesse Bromwich crashed over alongside the posts, charging onto a short Cameron Smith pass from dummy half. It would be the Storm's last points of the match, as they cruised to the finish line. In the 57th minute, Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan scored the visitors second try of the evening, when he ran onto a perfectly timed Kris Keating short pass. With just nine minutes remaining, Keating scored a try of his own, as the Bulldogs scored an entertaining long-range try. Centre Tim Lafai left Beau Champion in his wake, as Keating's pass saw the centre on the outside of his man. Lafai drew fullback Billy Slater, before passing to Keating, who escaped the clutches of Cooper Cronk on the way to the tryline.

Next week, the Bulldogs will attempt to return to the winner's circle when they play the Dragons in a Sunday afternoon Heritage Round blockbuster at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Storm will return home next Sunday afternoon also when they host the Parramatta Eels.



Match Details
Melbourne Storm 30 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 16
National Rugby League - Round 4 - Monday April 4, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Luke Phillips
Crowd: 11092
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 18 Canterbury Bulldogs 4

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Billy Slater
2 Points - Cooper Cronk
1 Point - Adam Blair

MELBOURNE STORM (30)
Tries: Kevin Proctor, Dane Nielsen, Matt Duffie (2), Jesse Bromwich
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)

CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (16)
Tries: Andrew Ryan, Steve Turner, Kris Keating
Conversions: Bryson Goodwin (2/3)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary And a very good evening and welcome to AAMI Park in Melbourne for tonight's round 4 blockbuster between the Melbourne Storm and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. A few changes for both sides after their original team sheets were announced last Tuesday. For the Storm, Matt Duffie replaces Anthony Quinn on the wing, while Troy Thompson comes into the run-on side at lock with Ryan Hinchcliffe dropping back to the bench. Atelea Vea takes the last place on the interchange bench. For the 'Dogs, Sam Kasiano replaces Micky Paea in the front-row and Chris Armit comes onto the bench.
In the Toyota Cup curtain raiser, the Storm scored two tries in the final eight minutes to come from behind and register a 34-30 victory over the Canterbury side. Kick-off in the first grade encounter is not too far away; scheduled for a little after 7.05pm. Join the LeagueUnlimited team then!
1 min: We're underway! The Storm will have first use of the ball, defending the southern end of AAMI Park.
1 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try.
1 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Matt Duffie. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
And the Storm get away to the best possible start! Cronk's attempted 40/20 kick is batted back into the field of play by Barba, before Duffie toed the loose ball ahead, taking advantage of Goodwin's laziness and gives the Storm a dream start!
Melbourne Storm 6-0
4 min: The Storm show some razzle dazzle in their set of six after posting points, before Barba successfully defuses a towering bomb.
6 min: Goal-line dropout Bulldogs. Smith's kick towards the posts takes a wicked bounce and Barba was left with no option other than to bat the ball over the deadball line.
8 min: PENALTY Storm. Slater ruled to have been taken out by Hodkinson as he chased a Cronk cross-field kick.
9 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Melbourne Storm
Penalty goal attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Smith makes no mistake from 10m out directly in front.
Melbourne Storm 8-0
10 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Storm offside as they looked to pressure the Bulldogs working the ball away from their own line.
11 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Steve Turner. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin unsuccessful.
Hodkinson puts a perfectly weighted grubber kick in behind the Storm defence and Turner had an age to wait for the ball to bounce into his arms, before forcing the ball inside the deadball line.
Melbourne Storm 8-4
14 min: The Bulldogs attempt to go around the Storm defence through Barba, before the fullback is bundled towards the sideline and throws a pass back inside which sees Idris in touch.
16 min: Melbourne's last tackle option is disappointing and Slater's cross-field kick is comfortably taken in-goal by Goodwin. 20m restart.
19 min: Nielsen drops the ball and the 'Dogs go on the attack.
19 min: Hodkinson is hit in a solid tackle by Blair, and the ball is jolted loose.
22 min: Armit knocks a near-perfect pass from Ennis on.
23 min: PENALTY Storm. Markers not square.
24 min: The Storm play a perfect set-play from the quick tap, involving Cronk and Slater, before Slater's pass is fractionally behind Nielsen who knocks the ball on.
25 min: Pritchard's ball to Barba would have seen the fullback in open space, but he knocked the ball on.
25 min: Nielsen drops another pass from Slater. Scrum Bulldogs.
29 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Markers too quick to move.
29 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Bulldogs try.
29 min: No Try. PENALTY Storm. Payne is ruled to have taken Cronk out as a decoy runner.
31 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try.
31 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Kevin Proctor. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Proctor extends the Storm's lead! Cronk's cross-field kick into the in-goal is batted back by Slater as he climbed over the top of Keating, into the waiting arms of Proctor.
Melbourne Storm 14-4
33 min: The Storm cut the Bulldogs to shreds straight down the middle! Smith's flick pass to Slater saw the fullback in open space, before he passed to Cronk, before he was tackled. From the ensuing play-the-ball, Slater's pass is thrown into touch.
35 min: Smith dribbles a kick into the in-goal and gets the home side a repeat set of six in the shadows of halftime.
36 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Dane Nielsen. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
Nielsen scores for the Storm! The Melbournians are starting to turn it on with some razzle dazzle footy. Blair's around-the-corner pass to Widdop puts the five-eighth into space, before he flicks a pass to Nielsen who scores out wide.
Melbourne Storm 18-4
38 min: Goodwin's restart finds touch! Bulldogs scrum.
39 min: Idris knocks the ball on in a three-man Storm tackle.
40 min: Halftime here at AAMI Park where the Melbourne Storm lead the Canterbury Bulldogs 18-4.
40 min: The second half is underway through Cameron Smith and the Bulldogs will have first use of the ball.
41 min: Ennis knocks the ball on on just the second tackle of the half. Scrum Melbourne.
42 min: Smith's grubber kick is knocked back by Lafai, before the hooker bundles him back into his in-goal. Goal line dropout.
44 min: Hinchcliffe is held up over the line. 10m play-the-ball.
44 min: Cronk tries to find Slater with a grubber kick back towards the posts, but Barba saves the day for the Bulldogs.
45 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Matt Duffie. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Duffie makes the Bulldogs task extremely difficult, scoring a superb Melbourne try. Cronk's pass gets Champion on the outside of Lafai, before drawing Goodwin and sending the winger on a saloon passage to the tryline.
Melbourne Storm 24-4
48 min: Turner defuses a Cronk bomb and the Bulldogs will work the ball away from their own end.
50 min: Slater slices through the middle of the Bulldogs defence, before kicking for Duffie. Barba wins the race to the ball and runs it over the deadball line. Goal-line dropout.
51 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Jesse Bromwich. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Bromwich scores another Melbourne try! Smith darted out of dummy half, before passing short to Bromwich who crashed over alongside the posts.
Melbourne Storm 30-4
54 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Cronk races out of the line, but is ruled to have been too quick off the mark.
55 min: Keating's kick finds Idris out wide, but the Melbourne scrambling defence defuses the situation.
56 min: Widdop knocks the ball on after being monstered in a three-man Bulldog tackle.
57 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Bulldogs try.
57 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Andrew Ryan. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful.
Andrew Ryan scores the Bulldogs second try of the evening, after Keating held up a perfect pass and put his captain over under the posts.
Melbourne Storm 30-10
60 min: PENALTY Storm. Kasiano's tackle on O'Neill is lazy. Penalty sufficient.
61 min: Cronk puts a grubber into the in-goal and Barba wins the race to the ball, gets into the field of play, before Champion slides him into touch.
63 min: Barba scoops up Widdop's chipkick and the Bulldogs defence holds for now.
63 min: Idris attempts to kick back in-field with his kick hitting O'Neill in the face, but the ball is not played at. Scrum Storm.
69 min: The Bulldogs play some ambitious football, before Ennis kicks the ball into the arms of Widdop.
71 min: TRY
TRY Canterbury Bulldogs
Scored by Kris Keating. Conversion attempt by Bryson Goodwin successful.
Keating scores a consolation try for the Bulldogs. Lafai stepped away from Champion, before drawing Slater and sending Keating on the way to the tryline untouched.
Melbourne Storm 30-16
74 min: Cronk's grubber kick to the corner trickles into touch as both sides look to the fulltime siren.
76 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Storm offside.
76 min: Tolman held up over the line. 10m play-the-ball.
77 min: PENALTY Storm. Tolman holds the tackled player down too long.
78 min: Lowrie throws a speculator which is dived on by the Bulldogs.
79 min: PENALTY Bulldogs. Tackled player held down too long.
80 min: O'Neill comes in and hits Barba ball and all and jolts the ball loose which will be the penultimate play of the match.
80 min: Fulltime at AAMI Park and the Melbourne Storm have run out convincing 30-16 victors over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

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