While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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The match was played hard and fast but the brilliance of Matt Orford proved the difference with a great kicking game and some of his signature running to give the Melbourne Storm the edge when it mattered most. The Storm were without Scott Hill who was missing with a back injury but Orford pulled the strings perfectly to keep the Storm within reach of the top four and now are just two points adrift at the halfway point in the season.
The Tigers were far from disgraced in the match and showed they will not lie down when the odds are against them. Brett Hodgson continued his fantastic form and transferred it to the boot kicking a perfect 4/4 to keep the Tigers withing striking distance of the Storm.
The loss, could prove costly for the Tigers who must now wait on other results to see if they maintain their place in the top eight.
Scorers: STORM 30 Tries: Slater, Bell, Johnson, Kidwell, Kearns Goals: Smith 2/4, Orford 3/4
WESTS TIGERS 24 Tries: Laffranchi, Elford, Fitzhenry,Galea Goals: Hodgson 4/4
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford( Storm) 2 - B Hodgson (Tigers) 1 - D Kidwell (Storm) -----------------------------------------
By the clock: 1st min: We are underway at a very cold Olympic Park.
10th min: Still no score but both sides have had some early chances which have not been converted into points.
12th min: TRY - Storm. Billy Slater uses some fancy footwork close to the Tigers line and finds his way across. Conversion successful. Storm 6-0.
19th min: The game is starting to open up with Brett Hodgson returning the ball beautifully from his own goal line. A very even contest in front of what looks to be a decent sized crowd.
24th min: Mark O'Neill leaves the field for the Tigers with a bad nose bleed which has left him in a bad way. There looks to have been a high shot but nothing sinister.
26th min: TRY - Tigers. Anthony Laffranchi scores a try out of dummy half. There was a suggestion of an obstruction against Matt Orford but it was a fair try. A very good contest underway. Conversion successful. 6 all.
29th min: TRY - Storm. A speculator from Dustin Cooper to Steven Bell sees Bell score nex to the sticks unopposed. Conversion unsuccessful. Storm 10-6.
31st min: TRY - Storm. Matt Orford ran 70 metres from the kickoff which set up the try. Orford threw a falt pass to Dallas Johnson who makes it look all too easy after half an hour. C6nversion successful. Storm 16-6.
39th min: TRY - Tigers. Shane Elford finishes a sparkling backline movement after a string of penalties to the Storm for lying all over the player in the tackle. Conversion successful. Storm 16-12.
41st min: Second half is underway and it should be very entertaining as both sides have played a high quality game.
43rd min: TRY -Storm. David Kidwell crashes over from dummy half. The Storm have come out breathing fire in the second half. Conversion unsuccessful. Storm 20-12.
50th min: PENALTYY GOAL - Storm. Matt Orford takes over the kicking duties and makes no mistake with a penalty goal to extend the Storm lead to double figures. Storm 22-12.
59th min: PENALTY GOAL - Storm.Matt Orford extends the Storm lead to two converted tries. Time, discipline and the scoreline are starting to work against the Tigers. Storm 24-12.
64th min: TRY - Storm. Melbourne wrap it up through a try to Robbie Kearns. Matt Orford dropped the grubber in on the Tigers line, Brett Hodgson couldn't handle it and Robbie Kearns was there to pick up the crumbs. Conversion successful. Storm 30-12.
73rd min: TRY - Tigers. Daniel Fitzhenry scores a great try after Jason Moodie made a fifty metre break, passes to Hodgso, back to Moodie, onto Prince, onto Marshall, Galea then Fitzhenry to score in the corner. Conversion successful. Storm 30-18.
80th min: TRY - Tigers. Ben Galea gets a late consolation try after Brett Hodgson did a chip n chase that somehow landed in Galea's hands and he raced away untouched. Conversion successful. Storm 30-24.