Raiders Upset Storm

The Canberra Raiders have pulled off an upset over the Melbourne Storm with a 40-12 victory at AAMI Park in front of 12,214 fans.

A structured Raiders outfit mounted the pressure and points over a Melbourne side who lacked star power in Billy Slater and Cameron Smith (ruled out pre-game following his Origin duties).

The Raiders fired early with two back to back tries inside the first 11 minutes. Blake Ferguson crossed for first points off a pin-point cross field kick. Jarrod Croker with the conversion attempt made it 6-0.

Their second four-pointer was posted by Recee Robinson as Sandor Earl found open space to raid the Storm right side. Croker failed to land the conversion, Raiders 10-0 after 11 minutes.

It was all the Raiders for the opening quarter of the game, but on the first occasion the Storm held possession inside the Raiders red zone they scored. Justin O'Neill awarded his try as he cleaned up a loose ball off high ball contest. Storm hit back, 10-6 with Gareth Widdop's conversion.

Young gun, Edrick Lee is no stranger of the whitewash and tonight claimed a hat trick of tries. His first in the 27th minute off a great ball from Josh McCrone. The successful conversion saw the Raiders 14-6 leaders.

Once again the 'Green Machine' went back to back, as Sandor Earl backed up Blake Ferguson to score. Jarrod Croker rose the flags, Raiders 20-6 after 30 minutes.

In the shadows of half time, Justin O'Neill scored his second four-pointer with a poor defensive read from the Raiders. Widdop closed the gap to eight points with the conversion. Thus, at the break the Raiders lead 20-12.

Similarly to the first half, the Raiders started quickly in the second. Edrick Lee posted his second four-pointer of the night with a massive cut out pass from McCrone. Croker failed to convert from the sideline, Raiders 24-12 after 43 minutes. 

The Melbourne Storm were run off their feet from the moment they exited the tunnel at AAMI Park. The Raiders dominated as they scored a further four unanswered tries.

Goal kicker Jarrod Croker crossed the goal line off a short offload from Joel Thompson. He converted his own try, inside the final 20 minutes the Raiders ahead 30-12.

New recruit Sandor Earl crossed again for his second try in his second game as the Raiders pushed the passes to the left side. The conversion attempted pushed wide by Croker.

Lee couldn't keep his hands off the ball as he crossed for his third and final try off a lovely waited pass from Reece Robinson. Croker with a beautiful strike from the sideline added the two points. The Raiders closed victors over the Storm 40-12 to hand them their first back to back loss in Melbourne since 2005.

The Canberra Raiders head back to the National's capital as they host the Gold Coast Titans in Round 19. While, the Storm will look for redemption with the Cowboys heading south to AAMI Park.

Photo credit: Chris (@Vossy7)

Match Details
Melbourne Storm 12 were defeated by Canberra Raiders 40
National Rugby League - Round 18 - Saturday July 7, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: AAMI Park
Referee: Gerard Sutton and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Grant Atkins
Crowd: 12,214
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 12 Canberra Raiders 20

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Josh McCrone
2 Points - Sandor Earl (2 Tries)
1 Point - Shaun Fensom

Melbourne Storm (12)
Tries: Justin O'Neill (2)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (2/2)

Canberra Raiders (40)
Tries: Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Sandor Earl (2), Edrick Lee (3)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (4/8)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Super Saturday in Round 18 - Our coverage starts from AAMI Park in Melbourne with the Storm hosting the Canberra Raiders.

In team news, the Storm have a big change with Cameron Smith ruled out with Ryan Hinchcliffe to start. Siosaia Vave is added to the bench.

Meanwhile for the Raiders, Sam Mataora and Matt McIlwrick OUT, Mark Nicholls and Shaun Berrigan IN
Both sides going through their final preparations in the sheds. They will appear out onto the field in moments time.
1 min: We are UNDERWAY here at AAMI Park with the Melbourne Storm kicking off to give the Canberra Raiders first use of the ball tonight.
1 min: The Raiders firing their play early with quick passes to the right to find Sandor Earl. On the 3rd tackle forced to kick before going over the touchline. Not the best kick, as a result the Storm have possession on their 30 metre line.
2 min: Cooper Cronk's kick rolls over the dead ball line to compete their set. The Raiders have possession through a 20 metre optional restart.
3 min: First penalty awarded to the Storm after Shaun Fensom did not allow the Storm to play the ball. Touch finder sees the Storm start their set inside the Raiders 40 metre line.
3 min: KNOCK ON! Maurice Blair failed to take the Todd Lowrie pass cleanly and handed over possession back to the Raiders on his own 30 metre line. Raiders have the ball on the zero tackle as a result.
6 min: Massive take from Gareth Widdop who as under pressure. Certainly standing up in place of Billy Slater. Storm have possession on their 10 metre line.
9 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Blake Ferguson has claimed first points off a lovely cross field kick. Ferguson pulling the ball off Anthony Quinn to ground it in goal. Jarrod Croker slots the two points with the conversion from out wide
Canberra Raiders 6-0
11 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Sandor Earl has opened up the near side of the ground with a great run to then link up with Reece Robinson in support to score. With that, the Raiders have gone back to back off the kick restart. Jarrod Croker fails to convert from out wide
Canberra Raiders 10-0
13 min: PENALTY! Todd Lowrie has been penalise for having a second attempt at tackle by holding the legs of Shaun Fensom. Raiders find the touchline and have a set inside the Storm 40metres.
14 min: Anthony Quinn defusing the Raiders kick in goal to help the Storm out. They have a 20 metre restart as a result.
16 min: Video Referee for the Storm, Dane Nielsen claiming points, but the referees what to check the dead ball line to ensure he didn't go out
16 min: TRY
TRY! Melbourne Storm
Justin O'Neill has been awarded the GREEN LIGHTS from the video referee after he cleaned up the loose ball in the high ball contest. Gareth Widdop converts for the Storm from next to the posts.
Canberra Raiders 10-6
19 min: Following the scrum feed off the forward pass from the Storm. Sandor Earl has gone over the touchline as he run out of room of the right hand side. After all that, the Storm have possession through a scrum feed on their own 30 metre line.
21 min: KNOCK ON! Josh McCrone has made a meal of the Cooper Cronk kick as he tried to catch it. However, the Storm attempting to clean it up have also knocked the ball on shy of the goal line. So, the Storm have the ball with a scrum feed on the Raiders 10 metre line.
22 min: Great goal line defence from the Raiders to hold them out. Earl doing well to push up and force Anthony Quinn to kick out on the full. Raiders have possession with a change over on their 10 metre line.
24 min: FORWARD PASS! Ryan Hinchcliffe out of acting half has thrown a forward pass to Cooper Cronk. A mile forward caught by the match officials, thus the Raiders have a scrum feed on the Storm 40 metre line.
27 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Edrick Lee has claimed the Raiders 3rd four-pointer with a dive over try in the corner. Great passing which saw the ball shift to the left. Croker fails to convert from the touchline
Canberra Raiders 14-6
30 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Sandor Earl backing up in support off a lovely line break from Blake Ferguson. The Storm unable to contain the second phase play from the Raiders, offloads the killer play for the Storm tonight. Jarrod Croker slots the extra two points for the conversion.
Canberra Raiders 20-6
31 min: Blake Ferguson has gone for another gallop back unable to find open space as he was forced into touch by the Storm. As a result the Storm have a scrum feed on their own 30 metre line.
32 min: PENALTY! The Storm get a helpful penalty to march them up field. Count is at 2-1 Raiders.
35 min: PENALTY! Sandor Earl has been penalised for pulling down Anthony Quinn in the attempt at taking the kick. The Storm with a helpful penalty to get them out of their red zone.
37 min: PENALTY! The Storm get another penalty to give them a chance before the half time siren
38 min: Josh McCrone has been forced into the padded advertisements after being pushed in the back by Vave. But the kick forced dead by McCrone gives the Storm a line drop out.
40 min: TRY
TRY! Melbourne Storm
Justin O'Neill has slipped through the defence to claim his second four-pointer of the night. Gareth Widdop slots the conversion attempt to close the gap to eight points as the half time siren sounds.
Canberra Raiders 20-12
HALF TIME at AAMI PARK: Canberra Raiders playing some structured footy to hold an eight point lead at the break over the Melbourne Storm 20-12.
41 min: Second half is UNDERWAY with the Raiders kicking off
43 min: Video referee for the Raiders. A massive pass to Lee sees him dive in the corner. Possible knock on
43 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Edrick Lee has scored his second of the night after a massive cut out pass from Josh McCrone has seen Lee dive for the corner. Jarrod Croker with the conversion attempt from the touchline hooked it across the face of goal.
Canberra Raiders 24-12
48 min: Cooper Cronk has pulled out a massive 40/20 kick! The Storm have a chance for points with a scrum feed on the Raiders 20 metre line.
50 min: KNOCK ON! Justin O'Neill pushing up to take the Widdop pass but unable to take it and lost it. Chance gone begging for the Storm. As a result the Raiders have a scrum feed on their 10 metre line
51 min: PENALTY! The Storm get another penalty for the Raiders not clearing the ruck quick enough. Count at 5-1 in favour of the Storm.
53 min: Jarrod Croker almost bombing the opportunity for the Raiders. The call of zero tackle came and went and the kick from Croker went through. However, Widdop got caught and went dead.
55 min: Gareth Widdop has 'soccered' it into row Z with a kick into the crowd to save the try in the corner. The Raiders have possession through a line drop out.
58 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Jarrod Croker has scored for the Raiders after a push forward from Joel Thompson. He managed to get an offload away to put Croker in. Jarrod Croker converts his own try with a lovely swinging kick.
Canberra Raiders 30-12
60 min: PENALTY! Cooper Cronk has been ruled to be offside at the play of the ball. A helpful peaty to march the Raiders upfield as they look to extend their 18 point lead.
64 min: FORWARD PASS! Cooper Cronk looked to get a quick pass away to Justin O'Neill but it has been thrown forward. The Raiders have a scrum feed just shy of halfway
66 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Sandor Earl has claimed this second try tonight with some great passes to the left side of the field. Croker with the conversion pushes it wide.
Canberra Raiders 34-12
68 min: A massive run from Shaun Fensom almost gives the Raiders more points. He linked with Josh McCrone who offloaded to Croker who kicked for the in goal and it was forced dead by the Storm. As a result the Raiders have possession through a line drop out.
69 min: KNOCK ON! Blake Ferguson has lost possession of the ball after a behind tackle from Anthony Quinn. The Storm work it away on the zero tackle on their 10 metre line.
70 min: Gareth Widdop looked to create a play for the Storm, however Jarrod Croker cleans up the ball
72 min: TRY
TRY! Canberra Raiders
Edrick Lee has crossed in the corner to claim his third try of the evening after a lovely linking pass from Reece Robinson. Jarrod Croker swung the kick again and slot the conversion from the sideline.
Canberra Raiders 40-12
74 min: Video Referee for the Storm, Bryan Norrie has claimed a late try for the Storm
75 min: NO TRY! Blake Ferguson has saved a certain try for Bryan Norrie as he stripped out the ball under the posts. The Storm will have another shot at the line with a goal line drop out.
77 min: Gareth Widdop has allowed the Croker kick to roll over the sideline. The Storm pack down a scrum to have possession on their 10 metre line.
79 min: PENALTY! Shaun Fensom not clearing the ruck to give the Storm the final say in this match
80 min: FULL TIME at AAMI PARK in Melbourne. The Canberra Raiders have pulled off an upset over the Melbourne Storm with a 40-12 victory at AAMI Park.

A structured Raiders mounted pressure and points over a Melbourne side who lacked star power in Billy Slater and Cameron Smith who was ruled out pre-game following his Origin duties.

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