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Missed opportunities aplenty as Warriors tough out win
The NZ Warriors have scored a 16-10 win over the Melbourne Storm in a thrilling ANZAC day clash infront of a record crowd of 28,716 at AAMI Park.
In the opening minutes the game was end to end with both sides creating pressure but neither could capitalise on these pressure with the Warriors managing to put kicks dead and down the other end of the field the ball didn't bounce in the favour of the home side which meant pressure was released on the Warriors.
For the majority of the half however it was the Warriors who created all the pressure in attack but on each occasion the Storm's defence was equal to the challenge set by the Warriors.
It was in the 11th minute that the Warriors got on the board through David Fusitua although the youngster had to wait for the Video Referees to give him the green lights to have the score added to the board.
The Warriors then extended their lead through Feleti Mateo who had to juggle the pass before putting the ball down one handed under the posts.
The last two minutes of the half set up a points scoring flurry with Kevin Proctor bursting through the line to score and then after the halftime siren, Shaun Johnson slotted a penalty goal to extend the Warriors lead to 6 points.
The second half looked good early for the Warriors, but as they say looks can be deceiving after the Warriors looked to have kicked a 40/20 however the touch judge ruled that the ball had gone out on the full however replays showed that might not have been the case at all.
The momentum kept rolling with the Storm who just went up the field like a set of army tanks but it was the last line of defence that saved the Warriors every time even with all the dropouts that had been forced by the Storm.
After facing almost a 20minute attacking barrage from the Storm, it was Shaun Johnson who changed the momentum to show some good passing, footwork and speed to score what ultimately was the match winning try for the visitors. The Warriors then picked up the momentum again and looked to have scored but after a video referee review they were denied. Shaun Johnson twice to secure victory with field goals however the first was charged down and the second one would be best not talking about.
The Storm took control again in the last 5 minutes however the Warriors defence stood strong and it was off a poor play from Billy Slater on full time that ultimately secured the unlikely victory for both sides.
Both sides get a week off next week, although a number of players will be selected for representative duties across the representative weekend.
Melbourne Storm 10 New Zealand Warriors 16
Venue: AAMI Park
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 6 New Zealand Warriors 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Tomkins
2 points - Shaun Johnson
1 point - Jayson Bukuya
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Both the Storm and Warriors make their way out on to AAMI Park for the official ANZAC ceremony
Last post echoing across a full AAMI Park
God Defend New Zealand currently being sung at AAMI Park, will be followed by Advance Australia Fair
Sam Tomkins kicks us off and the Storm take the first possession of the game
2: Warriors already testing the Storm defence out with Ben Henry caught on the last just 5m out from the Storm line
3: Cooper Cronk goes early again with the kick, tackle 3 this time and from inside his own 20m, doesn't have the legs to get to the sideline and Tomkins works it away
5: PENALTY WARRIORS: Warriors get a relieving penalty deep in their own half and end up on halfway
7: PENALTY STORM: Warriors penalised for a late hit on one of the Storm players
9: PENALTY WARRIORS: Back to back penalties after referees rule Sebastine Ikahihifo was stripped off the ball
11: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.
Shaun Johnson has the angle on the kick but just too much fade and it goes across the face of the posts
13: Warriors go high with the bomb and referees rule Billy Slater knocked it on so six more for the Warriors, just 10m out from the Storm line
14: Some good defence from the Storm combined with an average kick relieves the pressure and gives Melbourne 7 tackles
15: Bounce of the ball definitely with the Warriors, Cooper Cronk puts a chip over the top but the bounce favours the Warriors
16: Good kick from the Warriors confuses Young Tonumaipea and he makes a meal of it and ends up being forced dead by the Warriors
17: ??? well that's what the Warriors make you do and there it was again, Shaun Johnson on tackle 4 puts a grubber that goes about a metre at most
19: Billy Slater gets himself out of the ingoal in a tough situation but gets pushed into touch although initially touch judge signalled goalline dropout
20: Warriors paying homage to the Wiggles with their hot potato performance, ball goes from side to side with no real gain in metres
25: Strong defence from the Storm deep in the Warriors half, Warriors only make 30m in that set
27: PENALTY WARRIORS: Adam Gee rules the Storm markers weren't square, relieves the pressure again on the Warriors
29: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Feleti Mateo. Kick to come.
Warriors get six more tackles but don't need more than one to see Feleti Mateo bounce off Storm defenders, juggle a pass and then put the ball down one-handed under the black dot
33: Ben Hampton shows good speed goes through a hole but is brought down 15m out
34: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Suaia Matagi makes an unforced error.
Storm get another set after Suaia Matagi knocks down a Young Tonumaipea pass, scrum for the Storm 10m out from the Warriors line
34: Justin O'Neill down after suffering a bad ankle injury, O'Neill comes from the field
34: PENALTY STORM: Pressure mounts on the Warriors after being penalised for not releasing the tackled player
36: Warriors put a kick in that forces Billy Slater deep into his own end but the Storm work it away and end up just 25m out from the Warriors line
40: Justin O'Neill won't be back tonight, Storm officials believe he's suffered a fractured Tibia
40: Both sides on the field for the second half and play is underway
45: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Young Tonumaipea. Kick to come.
A great set play from the Storm gives them an overlap and its Young Tonumaipea who scores in the corner, Warriors not happy about something in the play but no concerns for referee Ashley Klein
48: Second half a complete opposite to the first, Storm making huge metres in attack whilst the Warriors are struggling in defence
50: Ben Henry slow to his feet for the Warriors as the Warriors struggle to make big metres in attack again in the second half
52: Another HUGE territorial gain from the Storm in that set, although the end goes astray with the tap back off a crossfield kick going over the sideline
53: Chad Townsend puts a kick in that looks way too deep but it bounces straight up and Slater cleans up 10m out from his own line
54: Another great passage of play from the Storm even though at one point they didn't look like they knew what they were doing, they force a goalline dropout
55: Waqa goes down the sideline but is caught about 6m from the Warriors line
56: ANOTHER dropout forced by the Storm, Sam Tomkins again the man forced to play at the ball
59: PENALTY STORM: Last thing the Warriors needed was to concede a penalty and that's what they did, Storm on the attack deep in the Warriors half
62: Shaun Johnson looks to slow the game down by putting the ball into touch, Storm however have other ideas and rush to the scrum to keep the fast pace of the game going
66: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.
Shaun Johnson's average season with the boot continues with that one hitting the post to keep the margin within a converted try
67: Excellent crowd in attendance at AAMI Park - 28,716
70: NO TRY the ruling, video referee explaining that there was no touch from the Warriors and the only touch from the Storm was backwards, play the ball 10m out for the Storm
71: A poor set in attack from the Storm sees the Warriors on halfway on tackle 1
72: Repeat set for the Warriors, Shaun Johnson set up for the field goal, ball ends up with Tomkins who forces another set
72: Storm go short with the dropout but its cleaned up by the Warriors
74: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Field goal attempt by Shaun Johnson unsuccessful.
Shaun Johnson under NO PRESSURE takes a field goal attempt that ends up closer to the corner post than the goal posts
75: Sam Tomkins on the last tackle puts the ball down into the corner and it finds touch about 5m from the Storm line
75: PENALTY STORM: Storm hold the ball in the scrum and the Warriors leave early and are penalised by referee Adam Gee
77: Storm keep it going on the last but Tohu Harris is tackled on the last
80: 20 Seconds - Storm within in 10 metres
80: FULL TIME - WARRIORS WIN 16-10