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Storm back to form, brushing aside Broncos
With forward Michael Crocker back in the fold, the game was there to be added to his impressive collection of victories for the Storm. But it was three tries from Anthony Quinn that sealed the fate of the Broncos, who were depleted by injuries to Justin Hodges and PJ Marsh.
Quinn opened up the scoring in the 9th minute, finishing off a great move involving Billy Slater who was strong on the night. Brisbane-bound centre Israel Folau scored with a bustling run next, setting the tone for the evening and announcing the
Brisbane hit back in 31st minute, with a flat-looking backline finding Reece Robinson some room to move, with the rookie winger crossing to bring the Broncos back within reach. Robinson had a good game in general, finding room to move when you least expected it.
But it was short-lived with man-of-the-match Ryan Hoffman exploding through the line with 2 minutes to go in the 2nd half to score a decisive try and take the score to 18-4 at halftime.
The early stages of the second half saw each side attack but it was the Broncos who added more points first, with occasional five-eighth David Stagg bagging a four-pointer. With Michael Ennis missing his second for the night, the Broncos were as close as they got for the rest of the match, trailing 18-8.
Quinn sealed the match with tries in the 67th and 72nd minutes of the game, putting the Storm back in the reckoning for 2008 and becoming the first team to defeat Brisbane this year.
The win gives Melbourne a 2-and-2 record, as they move temporarily into 3rd position on the ladder. Next week they host the Sea Eagles in the 2007 Grand Final replay which should be a cracker.
Despite losing, Brisbane will most likely remain at the top of the ladder with a strong for-and-against. Next week they travel to Newcastle to tackle the Knights.
Match Details Round 4 - Full Time :: April 4th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: Olympic Park, Melbourne Referee: Jarred Maxwell Crowd: 13,831
Match Summary Changes:
Storm - Crocker comes onto the bench. Kaufusi starts with Blair back to the bench.
Broncos - Lockyer to start from the bench with Stagg starting the game at five-eighth.
1 min: The Broncos kick-off!
3 min: Melbourne dominating possession early...
7 min: Still no score here as the Broncos hold in against plenty of early Storm possession.
14 min: The Storm having a strong start here, dominating possession and just carting it up all the time, making big yards.
22 min: A quality game so far. Very few errors and penalties and you can tell both teams are highly disciplined. Melbourne still on top but things are evening out.
24 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Folau powers over the line to extend the lead for the premiers. They're looking much better than last week. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 12-0
38 min: Possession starting to even out here, but no change is score as the first half winds down.
40 min: HALFTIME - Melbourne are leading Brisbane 18-4 and are looking good. The reigning premiers have dominated the game and are deservingly in front as both clubs head to the sheds.
Brisbane has simply missed too many tackles and aren't making enough yards up the middle. By comparison, the Storm are much more exact and executing plays well to take advantage of Brisbane's short-comings.
The Broncos will need a big improvement to come back from here and it would appear as though Melbourne have this one in their keeping.
41 min: Melbourne restart play!
50 min: Ten minutes into the second half and it's much the same. Melbourne on top but they haven't converted it yet...
63 min: The Broncos starting to rally back here...
80 min: FULLTIME - Melbourne run out victors by 20-points with a strong win over the Broncos.