Raiders get the chocolates at GIO

It was a Happy Easter for all the Canberra fans at GIO Stadium today, who witnessed one of the games of the season. The Raiders trailed the Storm for 78 minutes but it was unlikely hero Paul Vaughan who sealed the win with a superb charge through the heart of the Storm defence to score under the posts and make the winning conversion a mere formality for Man of the Match Jarrod Croker.

The Storm started the brighter and it was Ryan Hinchcliffe who opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a try under the posts that came from a rebounded Cameron Smith grubber. Matthew Allwood then evened things up in the 17th minute, with a strong run to the lione after a series of short passes bewitched the Storm defence. The obligatory Sisa Waqa try from a Cooper Cronk kick then gave Storm the lead again then late replacement Mahe Fonua crashed over to give the Storm a handy lead just before the break. The Raiders decided to chance their arm and run it on the last in the last play of the first half and it proved a masterstroke as the ball went through ten sets of hands before finding Reece Robinson in the right corner. The half time score of 16-12 to the Storm was a fair reflection of the half.

The Storm started the second half as they did the first and it was Cronk with the try assist putting Fonua over for his second in the 45th minute. The Storm were without Ben Roberts for the whole second half after he limped off with a medial ligament tear. Broncos-bound Anthony Milford then forced himself into the game with a scything run which ended in a try to Robinson, his second. The Storm then looked to have skipped away a couple of times with tries toi Waqa but both were denied by sensational defence by Croker and Josh Papalii respectively. Waqa's second attempted try looked to be really close and the Storm weren't happy at all with the no try decision.

So it came down to a frantic last ten minutes, with the Storm leading by 4 and vocal Raiders crowd trying to spur their team on. The Raiders did lift, especially in defence and it was the claustrophobic defence which caused the Storm to come up with the errors that opened the door for the Vaughan try. The Storm had one last shot at a miracle but Captain Smith's attempted short kick-off went out on the full and that was all she wrote.

The Raiders will go into next week's clash with Manly with renewed confidence while the Storm head back home to lick their wounds and prepare for an ANZAC Day clash with the erratic Warriors.


Match Details
Canberra Raiders 24 Melbourne Storm 22
Venue: GIO Stadium
Crowd: 10941
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 12 Melbourne Storm 16

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jarrod Croker
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 point - Anthony Milford

CANBERRA RAIDERS (24)
Tries: Matthew Allwood, Reece Robinson (2), Paul Vaughan
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/4)

MELBOURNE STORM (22)
Tries: Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sisa Waqa, Mahe Fonua (2)
Conversions: Cameron Smith (3/4)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

A very good afternoon to you all and welcome to GIO Stadium in Canberra for an Easter Sunday special! Today sees the Canberra Raiders hosting the Melbourne Storm. I hope the boys from either side haven't eaten as many chocolate eggs as I have today or we'll see the world's slowest game. But seriously, what a match up we have today. The Raiders are sitting in 13th position and with the gap between the top and bottom teams being so small points-wise they have everything to play for. The Storm are fresh from their controversial last gasp, Hail Mary victory over the Dragons and with a number of tight contests under their belt so far wouldn't they love to be able to put a team away early. Whomever you are tipping today I think we can all agree on one thing, let's have NO REFEREEING STUFF-UPS!! Or at least none that directly decide the game...! It's Luke Wenitong here with you and i'll be back before kickoff with final team lists.

TEAM CHANGES: Raiders are 1-17 as per program. Storm are without Will Chambers (suspended) and Mitch Garbutt (illness). Mahe Fonua replaces Chambers and 'Gorgeous' George Rose comes onto the bench for Garbutt.

17 degrees and sunny out there, so no excuses lads, let's have a high quality game!

Teams on the park now.

1: And we're underway at GIO, with Storm to have first use.

3: Storm lose it on a long sweeping backline play. Raiders scrum feed on halfway.

4: Line dropout Storm. Terry Campese grubbered nicely and Billy Slater knocked it dead.

6: Mahe Fonua defuses a cross field chip from Campese nicely and it's the Storm to work it out.

7: Cameron Smith kicks early in the count and it holds up nicely. Great metre-eater that.

8: Video Ref. Possible Storm try. On field ref says try.

9: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ryan Hinchcliffe. Kick to come.

Smith grubbered under the posts, hit the post and it rebounded for Ryan Hinchcliffe to score. Lovely work from from Slater and Smith earlier in the count with a 60 metre break up the middle.

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

Too easy for Smith.

11: PENALTY - Storm. On halfway. Shaun Fensom offside.

12: Smith caught on the last in possession. Raiders to work it out from their own line.

13: Midfield bomb is taken spectacularly by Slater.

15: And Anthony Milford returns serve, with a juggling take of a swirling Cooper Cronk bomb.

15: VIDEO REF. Possible Raiders try. Onfield Ref says try.

17: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Matthew Allwood. Kick to come.

Lovely team try is finished off by Matthew Allwood. Heaps of short passes see it go from left to right and Allwood uses his strength to touch it down with Slater in tow.

17: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Slotted by Croker.

17: 40/20 MELBOURNE STORM
Cameron Smith kicks a 40/20.

Early kick by Smith and it is perfect. Storm to tap on the attack.

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

Geez they've practised that heaps.. Front rower George Rose passes to Cronk and he kicks early across to Sisa Waqa who lets it bounce but it pops up nicely and he is too good for the fullback.

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

Smith converts from wide right.

24: Bit of a break as Ben Roberts has twisted his right knee. He's ok though.

24: PENALTY - Raiders. Storm inside the ten.

25: PENALTY - Raiders. Storm inside the ten again, this time Raiders are only 10 metres out.

26: Scrum feed to Storm. Fensom loses it only metres from the Storm line. Pressure released.

27: Now the Storm are taken into touch early in the count through Justin O'Neill. Raiders to start their set inside the Storm half.

28: PENALTY - Storm. Slater made a break down the right touchline and was illegally pushed into touch by Croker after held was called.

29: PENALTY - Storm. Bill Tupou with a high shot on Tohu Harris.

31: PENALTY - Storm. And Raiders are marched another ten after backchat.

33: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Mahe Fonua. Kick to come.

Crisp backline play down the shortside sees Fonua crash over in the right corner.

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

Smith goes just left of the uprights.

36: Bromwich with a 50 metre bust but and he puts Slater away but Slater loses it, a try gone begging for the Storm.

37: Line dropout Storm after a Reece Robinson grubber is tapped dead by Slater.

40: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Reece Robinson. Kick to come.

WOW. Ball goes through just about every set of hands on the last and it ends up in Robinson's hands. He steps inside twice and goes over for a much needed try. Sensational touch footy by the Raiders.

40: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Lovely kick from Croker as he adds the extras.

40: HALF TIME: Melbourne Storm 16 lead Canberra Raiders 12.
A really good game football so far at GIO. Real end to end stuff and high quality. If it is a scrap the Storm look like favourites however they have not been able to put teams away so far this year and the Raiders could just pull off something special if they hang in there and the penalty count reverses.. See you back here soon for the second half.

42: Kickoff and we're underway at GIO. Raiders with first use in the second half.

43: Line dropout Raiders. Smith with the inch-perfect grubber.

44: PENALTY - Storm. Raiders pinged in front of their posts for stripping.

45: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Mahe Fonua. Kick to come.

Simple ball from Cronk who picks out the man running into the hole and Fonua goes over for his second.

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

Smith kicks it straight and true.

47: PENALTY - Storm. Hand on the ball in the tackle on the 5th tackle. Ouch that's gotta hurt the Raiders coach, Sticky.

48: Storm almost go over but Shillington knocks it forward so Storm to feed 10 metres from the Raiders line.

49: VIDEO REF - Possible Storm try to Ryan Hoffman. On field Ref says no try.

49: No Try. Scrum feed to Raiders.

50: PENALTY - Raiders. Stripping.

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

Forward pass from Waqa.

53: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Cooper Cronk makes an unforced error.

And Cooper Cronk can't handle a quick tip on from Smith.

55: INJURY UPDATE: Ben Roberts has a grade 2 medial ligament tear.

56: PENALTY - Raiders. Cameron Smith with a hand on the ball in the ruck.

58: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Reece Robinson. Kick to come.

Milford runs across field and the defence holds off enough for him to handoff to Allwood who in turn passes to Robinson for his second.

58: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

In off the post. Lovely conversion.

60: Disappointing end to a promising set from the Raiders. Wighton grubbers but it's straight to Slater. A sizzling break down the right touchline from Milford set that attacking raid up.

62: PENALTY - Storm. Big call that. Storm looked to have lost it but Papalii is ruled to have stripped it.

62: VIDEO REF. Possible Storm try to Waqa. On-field Ref says No Try.

62: Sensational effort from Papalii to hold Waqa up when looked certain to score.

66: Big set coming up here for both sides. The Storm knock on 5 metres out from their line. Raiders looking good on attack with Milford coming to the fore.

66: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Brett White makes an unforced error.

Oh no, Brett White comes up with a knock on at exactly the wrong time.

68: Raiders really muscling up in D.

69: Woah, take a breath everyone. Cronk kicks for touch and finds it. Scrum feed to Raiders 10 out from their own line.

71: VIDEO REF. Possible Storm try to Waqa. On-field Ref says No Try.

71: NO TRY. Ridiculous try saver from Croker on Waqa. 20 metre restart Raiders. HUGE CALL from the Refs.

75: Raiders on the attack hard but a forward pass cruels their set.

75: Raiders on the attack hard but a forward pass cruels their set.

75: Raiders on the attack hard but a forward pass cruels their set.

77: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Paul Vaughan. Kick to come.

Paul Vaughan wins it for the Raiders under the posts!!!

79: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

And Croker adds the extras to ensure the win!!

80: FULL TIME: Canberra Raiders 24 defeated Melbourne Storm 22. What a cracking game. Look for our Match Report at leagueunlimited.com shortly.

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