Roosters rattle depleted Storm

The Sydney Roosters have secured a comfortable 32-12 win over an understrength Melbourne Storm outfit in front of 16,000 fans at AAMI Park this afternoon.

Missing key players, the Storm were never expected to give a challenge to a well-stocked Roosters side which has started to click in recent weeks, and the first half certainly went that way. The Roosters led 16-0 at halftime through a trio of tries, one to Minichiello inside the first ten minutes before his effort was backed up by Mitchell Pearce, then French import Remi Casty in the minutes before halftime.

The key talking point from the first half was Jared Waerea Hargreaves' high tackle on Bryan Norrie being put on report. Frank-Paul Nuuasuala and Norrie were sent to the sin-bin following the fight that ensued.

The visitors never really seemed to get out of second gear, although a fair assessment would suggest the Melbourne side were tenacious in defence despite the omission of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and a host of others. The Storm would be the first to score in the 2nd half, with Mahe Fonua making the pressure toll on his opposites by crashing over on the left edge.

That try caused the Roosters to lift a gear, and just minutes later Roger Tuivasa Sheck danced into the corner post and got the ball down just inside it to push the lead back to 14 points. Sonny Bill Williams added to the damage soon after to put the result seemingly beyond doubt, although a late Storm try to Kurt Mann did worry the Roosters briefly. Minichiello bagged his brace in the final minute to end with the reigning premiers 20 points clear of their 2012 predecessors.

The Storm will have concerns over Mitch Garbutt, who limped off with a leg injury in the first half, while the Roosters will be sweating on the verdict of the Match Review Committee following the JWH incident in the first half. Melbourne's next match is on Monday-week against the Gold Coast Titans at Robina, while the Roosters head home to host Newcastle on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.


Match Details
Melbourne Storm 12 Sydney Roosters 32
Venue: AAMI Park
Crowd: 16757
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 0 Sydney Roosters 16

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Mitchell Pearce
2 points - Michael Jennings
1 point - Anthony Minichiello

MELBOURNE STORM (12)
Tries: Mahe Fonua, Kurt Mann
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/2)

SYDNEY ROOSTERS (32)
Tries: Anthony Minichiello (2), Mitchell Pearce, Remi Casty, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sonny Bill Williams
Conversions: James Maloney (4/6)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

AAMI Park the venue for this clash between the last two NRL premiers - 2013's Roosters and 2012's Storm. We have plenty of team changes for the hosts, strap yourselves in.
For the Storm, OUT are Cameron Munster and Junior Moors. Kurt Mann moves from centre to fullback, with Mahe Fonua coming into the centres as Mann's replacement. Both halves Harris and Roberts switch to the bench, Cam Smith and Ben Hampton will take those roles. Ryan Hinchcliffe fills Smith's vacant hooker spot while Kenneath Bromwich comes off the bench to start at lock. Thankfully, the Roosters are 1-17 with Willis Meehan dropping off a 5-man bench.

Both sides out on the park now - Roosters in the white away strip, Melbourne wearing their heritage jersey as it's Old Boys Day at AAMI Park.

GAME ON - Storm first use of the ball.

3: First penalty to the Storm, they attack from 20m out.

6: Penalty Roosters now, Storm not back ten. Roosters have their first attacking chance.

7: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Anthony Minichiello. Kick to come.

Minichiello scores in the corner as the Roosters execute a superb overlap. SBW stars in the leadup.

8: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

Maloney kicks into the sun....and pushes it wide.

11: Roosters dominating here, making great metres down the right edge, and now earn another penalty.

13: Roosters play panic footy and eventually a loose pass is claimed by Melbourne... then the Roosters' defenders hang around in the tackle and it's a penalty for the Storm.

21: A bit of a push and shove happening after a high tackle by JWH.

22: SIN BIN
Frank Paul Nuuausala is sent to the sin bin.

FPN is in the bin for being the instigator of an all-in fight, throwing a punch.

22: SIN BIN
Bryan Norrie is sent to the sin bin.

Norrie joins FPN in the bin for the fight.

22: And JWH has been put ON REPORT. Eventful couple of minutes. Storm penalty, they go on the attack.

23: Resulting set for the Storm ends with an uninspiring grubber on the last, it trickles dead and the Roosters restart at the 20m.

26: Storm bak on the attack after a penalty against the Roosters for obstruction.

27: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ben Hampton makes an unforced error.

Hampton pushes the pass to Kurt Mann and it's forward. Mann had crossed for a try too... Roosters scrum though.

30: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Mitchell Pearce. Kick to come.

Pearce finds a gap off a Jake Friend offload.

32: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

No trouble for Maloney this time from a much easier position.

34: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Anthony Minichiello makes an unforced error.

Jennings with a scintillating break down the left edge, finds Pearce inside him and wraps around to get it back... then Minichiello spills the second Jennings pass straight running at the line. Storm scrum on their own 10m.

36: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Remi Casty. Kick to come.

The Frenchman Remi Casty scores his first NRL try!

38: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney converts as we approach halftime.

Halftime siren rings out at AAMI Park and we have the Roosters dominating despite a gallant Storm effort.

42: Positive start for the Storm, they push wide in their first set then kick long and wide before it trickles toward the sideline. Melbourne touch it though, knock on. Roosters scrum on their own 10m.

44: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Mitchell Pearce makes an unforced error.

Ahhhh, not good Pearce. Kick goes out on the full, Storm with it 40m from the Roosters line.

45: Storm's positive start continues here, they force a repeat set.

48: INJURY - Mitch Garbutt is coming off with a knee injury. Storm's injury crisis worsens. They have a penalty right now getting out of their own end after a Pearce break came to nothing for the Roosters.

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

Fonua scores for the Storm - finding the gap off a neat long ball by Ben Roberts.

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

Smith converts from a tricky wide angle.

53: VIDEO REFEREE possible Roosters try to Tuivasa-Sheck. Checking grounding in the corner.

53: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Kick to come.

"RTS" gets it down in the corner, another freakish try from the winger.

54: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.

Maloney pushes the conversion attempt well wide.

57: Jennings pushed into touch as he advances toward the line, Storm scrum on their own 10m.

59: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Sonny Bill Williams. Kick to come.

SBW scores to increase the Roosters margin. Understrength Storm just no match for the clinical plays at times.

61: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

Maloney adds the two.

64: UNFORCED ERROR SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Anthony Minichiello makes an unforced error.

Mini spills the ball over the line after attempting to collect a kick. Storm 20m restart.

65: Storm hot on the attack now looking to post some points as this one winds down.

67: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Kurt Mann. Kick to come.

Mann grabs the Storm's second - takes the line on superbly.

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

Twelve left, fourteen points down. They haven't looked likely all day - but stranger things have happened. Smith converts.

76: Clock winding down here, Storm have been strong in the last ten minutes.

79: TRY SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Scored by Anthony Minichiello. Kick to come.

Mini with a double as fulltime approaches. Great win for the Roosters today.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.

That'll do us - Maloney adds the two and we go to fulltime with a twenty point victory to the visitors.

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