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THE Cronulla Sharks have ended the Melbourne Storm's nine match wining streak after defeating the competition leaders 12-10 in front of a 14,595 crowd at Toyota Park in absence of skipper Paul Gallen.
In what was arguably the match of the season, the home side managed to keep the Storm scoreless in the second half to claim victory. However, it was the Storm who drew first blood in the match, scoring through Dane Nielsen in the 13th minute after Issac Gordon spilled a Cooper Cronk bomb.
A knock on from the kick off, provided the home side with an opportunity to hit right back and they did, with Gordon redeeming himself for conceding a try by scoring one in the corner. Tood Carney nailed the conversion from the sideline.
Despite conceding a-try-a-piece in opening 20, the defence from both sides were solid, as both teams were required to defend frequent raids on their goal-lines.
It was one set too many defending their tryline for the Sharks in the 27th minute with Matt Duffie busting through the line. Cameron Smith failed to convert the try.
With the half time break drawing near, the Storm were giving several opportunities to extend their lead with some handy field position, but the Sharks' defence held strong.
After the break, it was the Sharks with all the good field position, but it was not enough, even the sin binning of Billy Slater in the 55th minute did not appear to make breaking the Melbourne line any easier.
The Storm finally cracked in the 71st minute, with Jeremy Smith burrowing over from dummy-half to level the scores before Carney kicked a goal from 20 out and 10 in from touch to give Sharks the lead.
With less than 10 minutes in the match and trailing by only two, the Storm were not going to give up their winning streak without a good fight and they had no lack of ideas of how to break through the Sharks' defence. But, with a vocal home crowd willing them on, Cronulla held on to win the match 12-10.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12 defeated Melbourne Storm 10
National Rugby League - Round 10 - Sunday May 13, 2012 3:00pm
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Jason Robinson
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and David Abood
Halftime: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6 Melbourne Storm 10
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Andrew Fifita
2 Points - Matthew Wright
1 Point - Cooper Cronk
CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS (12)
Tries: Jeremy Smith, Isaac Gordon
Conversions: Todd Carney (2/2)
MELBOURNE STORM (10)
Tries: Dane Nielsen, Matt Duffie
Conversions: Cameron Smith (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good afternoon NRL fans and welcome to Toyota Park where the Cronulla Sharks take on the Melbourne Storm.
We have wonderful conditions at Shark park this afternoon where the Sharks' under 20s side has defeated the Melbourne Storm 32-22 in the Toyota Cup.
We have some bad news for Sharks' fans, captain Paul Gallen is out of the match and will be replaced by Mark Taufua. Stewart Mills is also out and will be replaced by Issac Gordan.
The Storm have announced no late changes.
Cameron Smith gets us underway at Toyota Park.
2 min: Cooper Cronk goes to the air on the last from 40 out and Issac Gordan is forced to ground it in-goal. Line dropout to the Storm.
4 min: Garreth Widdop grubbers through on the fourth and Ben Ross cleans it up a few metres out from his own line, however the ref was playing the advantage and the Storm receive a penalty.
5 min: Cronk grubbers through on the last, but it's poorly weighted and beats everyone over the dead-ball-line.
7 min: John Williams knocks on 20 metres out from the Storm line after Geoff Robson throws a dummy and slices through the Storm defence on halfway.
11 min: Sharks receive a penalty 10 metres out from their own line.
13 min: Possible try to the Storm.
14 min: TRY
TRY! Cooper Cronks puts up a bomb on the last and Gordon spills it and Dane Nielsen is there to dive on the loose ball and score close to the posts. Smith adds the extras.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
15 min: Justin O'Neill knocks on from the kickoff. Sharks will go on the attack.
17 min: TRY
TRY! Gordon scores in the right corner after some second man play from Todd Carney. Carney converts from the sideline.
23 min: Sharks are on the attack.
24 min: Matt Duffie diffuses a Carney bomb in-goal and the Storm are off the hook.
24 min: The Storm receive a penalty.
25 min: Storm get six-again 20 out after a Cronulla players gets a hand to the ball.
25 min: Williams knocks on a Smith bomb and the Storm will get a scrum ten out from the Cronulla try line.
27 min: TRY
TRY! The Storm spread it out wide and Matt Duffie scores in the left corner. Smith fails to convert the try.
Melbourne Storm 10-6
33 min: Sharks will go right on the attack after a chaser is knocked out of the chase.
34 min: Carney floats a pass out wide to Gordon, but it's too much for the winger to handle and the Storm are off the hook.
37 min: Storm have a full set on halfway after pressure from the Storm defence forces an ordinary kick from Robson.
38 min: Possible try to Slater.
38 min: No try! Slater knocked the ball on before grounding it.
39 min: Pomeroy throws a pass which sails over the sideline 10 short of halfway and the Storm will get another crack at the line.
40 min: The Storm get a repeat set of six after Sharks' player plays at the ball.
40 min: Jesse Bromwich knocks on lunging for the tryline and the Sharks survive.
41 min: Carney brings the second half underway.
41 min: Carney brings the second half underway.
43 min: The Storm will go right on the attack after the Sharks are pinned for being offside, 45 metres out from the Storm line.
44 min: Duffie is tackled into touch five metres out from the Sharks' line by some great cover defence.
48 min: The Sharks are pinned for an obstruction on halfway and the Storm are on the attack again.
49 min: The Storm will receive a line dropout after Graham intercepts the ball but is forced back into his in goal.
51 min: The Sharks' defence holds and then they receive a penalty to get out of their danger zone.
52 min: Sharks get six again 20 out.
54 min: Carney grubbers through and Slater knocks on trying to clean it up. The Sharks will get a scrum ten out.
55 min: Robson grubbers for himself and it looks like there may have been an illegal challenge on him by Slater in-goal.
55 min: Slater is sin binned for the challenge on Robson and Cronulla have a penalty right in front.
56 min: Matthew Wright loses the ball 20 out from the Storm line and the Storm are off the hook.
57 min: De Gois is pinned form a forward pass on halfway.
58 min: The Storm will get a line drop out after Gordon is forced to ground a Smith grubber in goal.
59 min: Jaiman Lowe knocks on in the first tackle 40 out from the Sharks' line.
60 min: Carney grubbers into the in-goal and Will Chambers cleans up the ball only to be trapped in goal by Colin Best.
62 min: Williams is tackled over the sideline by some great cover defence after the Sharks spread it out wide.
65 min: Williams is tackled into touch 30 out from the Storm line. Slaters' back on the field.
66 min: Wright takes the ball on the full in goal and runs back to the 20 takes a quick tap and makes it to halfway before being tackled.
67 min: Storm receive a penalty after Best tries to force Slater back into the in goal after Graham grubbered the ball through on the last.
69 min: Robson forces a line dropout.
70 min: Jeremy Smith may have scored here.
72 min: TRY
TRY! Smith burrows over from dummy-half for a try. Carney converts the try from 20 out and 10 in from touch.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12-10
77 min: Slater is pinned for a forward pass 30 out from then Sharks' line. They were doing a good job keeping pressure on the Sharks, but the Sharks are holding strong.
80 min: Graham is tackled as the hooter sounds and the Sharks have defeated the Storm 12-10.