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Sydney Roosters 10 vs Melbourne Storm 6
Sydney City Roosters have shown tonight why they are real contenders in 2008, as they dealt the Melbourne Storm their second defeat in a row, by 10-6.
A low scoring game with the commitment in defence by the Roosters the telling difference between the sides tonight.
A small crowd at the Sydney Football Ground were treated to a calculated and totally professional performance by the home side, forcing errors on a regular basis from last year's Premiers.
The halftime score of 8-0 to the Roosters thoroughly deserved as the home side went through the motions clinically, giving Melbourne Storm no show of coming close to scoring. The only points of the half a try in the 7th minute to Kenny-Dowall, and the remainder of the points from the boot of Fitzgibbon.
The second half seemingly saw the speed of the game stepping up a notch but once again the strong defence from the Sydney Roosters nullified any Storm attack.
It wasn't until the 76th minute of the game that Slater managed to cross the line for the Storm, adding a bit of spark to the last few minutes of the match.
A controversial call by ref Hayne nearly saw the Melbourne side score to level, but appropriately, the tough Roosters defence once again shone through.
Melbourne Storm now have suffered back to back losses early in 2008, something that hasn't happened for 2 seasons. The Roosters have yet again shown their critics that yes, they will be a tough side to beat in 2008.
Round 3 - Full Time :: March 29th, 2008 5:30pm Venue: Sydney Football Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne
Sydney Roosters 10 Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (3/3)
Melbourne Storm 6 Tries: Billy Slater Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Sam Perrett 2 Points: Anthony Minichiello 1 Point: Craig Fitzgibbon
Greg Inglis returns to strengthen the lineup for the Storm's first away game of 2008. The Roosters following their close loss to the Broncos last week, have the benefit of a large home crowd.
1 min: Roosters kick off in the first Saturday match
3 min: Back to back penalties for the Roosters have them hot on attack a metre away from their line
4 min: Heavy and solid defence by Melbourne shuts down the Roosters attack and forces play out over the sideline.
7 min: TRY Sydney Roosters Another penalty against the Storm defence allows the Roosters some easy metres. Fifth tackle kick by Pearce is well played allowing Kenny-Dowall in to score. Conversion attempt by Craig Fitzgibbon successful. Sydney Roosters 6-0
10 min: Slater makes a mistake and the Roosters once more on attack, 30 metres out from their line.
12 min: Kenny-Dowall close to scoring but his chip kick in goal was too hard. Had he run instead of kicking, he would've scored.
14 min: Possession favouring the Roosters at 66%
19 min: The Storm settling down from an unconvincing start. Sydney Roosters still looking good, offloading regularly.
21 min: Cambers knocks on from a high bomb, the Roosters on attack 20 metres out.
22 min: Tupou held up on the 3rd tackle after great passing. However a soft kick in goal is easily snapped up by Slater.
24 min: Goal line dropout for the Roosters after some good build up.
26 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters 6-1 penalty count against the Storm. Fitzgibbon makes no mistake from 29 metres out. Sydney Roosters 8-0
30 min: Another great kick by Pearce to his wing, however Kenny-Dowall ruled to offside, ahead of Perret who was fighting for the ball.
32 min: The ball is finally over the Storm's line for the 1st time in the match and they are awarded a penalty for offside play but once again mistakes reign for the Storm.
34 min: Kenny-Dowall once again looked certain to score but drops the ball from another high kick.
36 min: Kenny-Dowall making an enormous break fumbles the ball once again to end yet another great attacking opportunity.
39 min: Big hits going in by the Roosters forwards
40 min: Anasta penalised for a hit on Turner similar to what he received from Hunt last weekend.
HALFTIME: 8-0 to the home side
41 min: Storm kick off as light drizzle falls.
45 min: A better start by the Storm in this half as the pace of the game seems to have stepped up.
47 min: A break by Minichiello has him sailing down the field hunted down by Slater who nails him at full pace.
53 min: The tough grind has started as the ball goes end to end.
58 min: More possession for the Storm but the Roosters defence is holding strong.
59 min: Line dropout Roosters.
61 min: PENALTY GOAL Sydney Roosters Smith penalised for holding back a player on attack. 12 metres out from close in front means no mistake for Fitzgibbon. Sydney Roosters 10-0
63 min: Pearce cops a hit from Slater who was airborne chasing the ball after a high kick. He recovers gingerly.
64 min: Smith loses the ball in a tackle over the tryline. No try for the Storm.
66 min: Penalty count now 9-8 in the Storm's favour.
67 min: Inglis knocks on in goal after a high kick from Cronk.
71 min: The Roosters once again on the attack and looking good.
72 min: Rain coming down steadily now but the pace of the game is still pretty fast, except for the scrums.
74 min: Anasta saves a certain try as Cronk puts the kick in for Slater, but Anasta's fingers were just that bit longer. Plus he makes it back into the field of play.
76 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Finally some points on the board for the Storm as Folau, up the sideline aided by Turner, puts a great chip thru for the speedster to dot down. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Sydney Roosters 10-6
77 min: Seems a bad call by Hayne who rules the Roosters put the ball out on the full from the kick off. Looked like Geyer actually knocked on.
78 min: To the crowd's delight, an error by the Storm near their tryline.
80 min: Storm quickly form a scrum for one last shot, 40 metres out.
FULLTIME: Deserving to win, the Roosters celebrate their victory.