Storm comfortably home over Broncos

The Melbourne Storm have continued to quietly push toward the finals with a solid but unspectacular 30-8 victory over a shaky Brisbane side at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

More than 36,000 fans packed into Brisbane's premier sporting venue with plenty of hope amongst the home fans following a win over the Warriors last Saturday, but it was the Storm who got off to the best start with Marika Koroibete opening the scoring off a clever Cronk kick that caught Lachlan Maranta out in the fifth minute. Cameron Smith added the extras and only superb defence from Brisbane prevented further points for the following ten minutes, with the Storm enjoying an avalanche of possession.

This continued until the 15th minute when a controversial Ryan Hoffman try pushed the Storm further ahead. It appeared Billy Slater had taken a contender for the ball away from the contest and a penalty should've ensued but that was seemingly ignored and Hoffman awarded the four-pointer. Smith added two more to take the margin to twelve.

The momentum shifted leading up to the half hour mark and this allowed the Broncos to finally grab some field position - with Dale Copley finally scoring the first try for the home side. Parker's failure to convert meant an eight-point margin and this was how it would stay til halftime.

Both sides locked themselves in a fierce end-to-end battle to open the second half before Storm enforcer Ryan Hoffman bagged his second in the 50th minute. Smith's conversion boosted the visitors' advantage to fourteen before the Broncos struck back via Alex Glenn and a great team try in the 61st.

Sadly for the Broncos that ten point margin was as close as they got - series of errors and poor discipline saw the Melbourne side surge ahead with tries in the final fifteen minutes to Ryan Hinchcliffe and enigmatic halfback Cooper Cronk. Cameron Smith slotted a penalty goal on fulltime to seal a 22-point victory.

Next weekend the Broncos will head to Brookvale to visit a high-flying Manly team wearing a golden Wolverine strip, while the Storm are off to Campbelltown on Monday night in Round 21 to face the Wests Tigers.


Match Details
Brisbane Broncos 8 Melbourne Storm 30
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 36319
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 4 Melbourne Storm 12

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cooper Cronk
2 points - Ryan Hinchcliffe
1 point - Will Chambers

BRISBANE BRONCOS (8)
Tries: Dale Copley, Alex Glenn
Conversions: Corey Parker (0/2)

MELBOURNE STORM (30)
Tries: Marika Koroibete, Ryan Hoffman (2), Ryan Hinchcliffe, Cooper Cronk
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

The centre-table logjam won't be clearing any time soon but these two clubs will both be keen to get the jump on their competitors with a win tonight. Brisbane are perched inside the top eight and the Storm are teetering in eighth, so the winner here earns a massive leg up as the pack jockeys for positions. In TEAM NEWS - the visiting Storm are as per program with both Weston and Tonumaipea dropping out, while the Broncos have dropped Jarrod Wallace, Jake Granville, Daniel Vidot and Martin Kennedy from the 21 man squad named on Tuesday. This means Jack Reed and Corey Oates return from their club-induced suspension on the bench. The starting side is 1-13.

We're underway, Brisbane with it first.

3: Melbourne with plenty of metres on their return set. Cronk puts it up, comes back for the Storm... Barba forced in goal.

5: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Marika Koroibete. Kick to come.

The Fijian flyer scores the Storm's first off a cheeky kick missed by Brisbane winger Maranta. Koroibete scores!

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

Cam's sideline attempt is a great one from out wide.

8: Melbourne force the error off a Cronk bomb. Next tackle, Chambers is held up, tackle after and Hinchcliffe's stopped a metre short!

9: McGuire trapped in-goal for Brisbane, another dropout, more pressure applied by the Storm.

10: And another dropout... Ben Roberts grubbers and Hoffman has to tap it dead.

11: Superb defence, Will Chambers down the right touchline - Copley and Kahu help push him into touch and Brisbane now have a scrum on their own 10m.

13: Brisbane earn a penalty and will finally get the chance to attack the Storm line.

14: ERROR - and now Will Chambers sprints away! He's eventually dragged down just inside the Broncos' 40m. Storm attack now.

14: VIDEO REFEREE - possible NO TRY Storm, Hoffman's claiming a try, grounding and contest in question.

14: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ryan Hoffman. Kick to come.

Well well well. They've overturned this. Billy Slater's taken a player out but the video referee ignores it and gives Hoffman the try.

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

Smith with no trouble at all.

17: Lots happening here, Slater's broken through and Thaiday's taken a player out off the ball. Melbourne don't score so it comes back for a penalty.

19: Brisbane survive what seemed like a panic set from Melbourne. Now they get a penalty...

22: Intecept-ception! Chambers intercepts it for Melbourne only for Barba to intercept it back 2 seconds later! Broncos fresh set from halfway!

23: Storm break away... positive there was a forward pass in there but it's not heeded. Storm peppering the Broncos' line.

26: Ben Roberts rocks and diamonds - rocks this time, some of his kicks in the last few minutes have been woeful. Barba now with a break, he's dragged down just short of the line!

26: Penalty Broncos... borderline sin bin there. Mahe Fonua has clearly taken Maranta out attempting to chase a grubber through.

28: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Dale Copley. Kick to come.

Barba with a sublime pass out wide and Copley slams it down.

28: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.

From out wide Parker comes in but he's shanked it to the right.

31: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ryan Hoffman makes an unforced error.

Ryan Hoffman with a case of the dropsies. Broncos scrum 10m out.

35: VIDEO REFEREE possible Storm TRY to Cooper Cronk....

36: Replay after replay after replay... we can't see that Cronk has scored that. NO TRY.

36: Brisbane break up the park through Barba then Copley but the Storm have held them out.

38: Jack Reed grubbers through on the last but it's too deep. Storm 20m restart. Compounded by a penalty.

40: Barba defuses a tense situation near the corner, Brisbane work it away but it looks like they'll take it to halftime trailing by 8.

42: We're back and Melbourne have kicked early on their first set back today.

47: Brisbane penalty - Ben Hunt taken out after putting a kick up. Late hit by Bromwich.

48: VIDEO REFEREE and subsequent NO TRY Broncos. Storm will get the ball after a Brisbane knock-on.

50: Storm knock on, then Brisbane attack but it comes to nothing. Now the Storm get a penalty coming out of their own end.

51: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ryan Hoffman. Kick to come.

Ryan Hoffman is the scorer for Melbourne.

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

Added extras for Smith and it's suddenly a 14 point lead.

60: Brisbane, try as they might, can't break through the Storm defence. Last tackle here... High ball...

62: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Alex Glenn. Kick to come.

Kahu taps it back, Reed surges, into Copley and then Glenn picks it up and SCORES!

63: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.

Parker misses again, not helping his side's chances of getting back into this one.

64: Brisbane with an error coming out of their own end. Storm scrum 40m out.

65: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ryan Hinchcliffe. Kick to come.

Beauty of a try extends the Storm's lead, Hinchcliffe gets it down under the posts.

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

Cameron Smith pushes the lead out to 16 points now, Melbourne home and hosed with less than 15 left, it would seem.

70: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Cooper Cronk. Kick to come.

No problems for the Cronkster in the corner.

71: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

No good for this one from the sideline for Cameron Smith.

77: Brisbane try a crafty kick mid-field but Koroibete is wise to it and counters! Down the touchline he's away, throws it inside for Slater, who toes it ahead... but he won't make it to ground it. Upstairs for the NO TRY checking who touched it last.

77: 20m restart for the Broncos, Slater ruled to have touched it dead.

80: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL MELBOURNE STORM
Penalty goal attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Smith pushes it to 30 on fulltime.

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