GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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In difficult conditions, the Storm played the better football on the day and put in an impressive defensive display, limiting the Bulldogs forwards as well as disrupting their halves.
Melbourne led at half time by 8-6 but were unable to spread it wide and made plenty of errors.
As the conditions deteriorated, so did the Bulldogs but they were often let off the hook by handling errors from the Storm.
The turning point of the match came at 65th minute when Bulldogs winger Matt Utai was sin-binned for pushing down an opponent close to the line. Melbourne scored three quick tries to end the Bulldogs ten match winning streak.
The result sees the Bulldogs slipping to second position on the ladder. The Sydney Roosters, who have a superior for-and-against, regaining top spot.
STORM 22 Tries: Bell, Hill, Johnson Goals: Orford 5/6 defeated BULLDOGS 12 Tries: Anasta, Utai Goals: El Masri 2/2
By the clock: Showers are expected to hit Olympic Stadium soon in what will be Stephen Kearney?s last game played in Melbourne. Kirk Reynoldson comes into the Storm side as the only late change.
0 min: Bulldogs kick off
9 min: News ? Scrambling defence by the Bulldogs denies Matt King a try after the Storm opted to run with the ball on the last tackle.
10 min: News ? Adam Perry is currently off the field suffering from a suspected bout of concussion.
14 min: Try ? Bell (Storm). Steven Bell 5 metres out runs out of dummy half and burrows his way over the try line. Matt Orford?s conversion attempt is unsuccessful. 4-0 Storm
15 min: News - Heavy rain is starting to fall.
18 min: Try ? Anasta (Bulldogs). Braith Anasta side steps past David Kidwell close to the try line to put the bulldogs on the board. Hazem El Masri converts. 6-4 Bulldogs
23 min: Goal ? Orford (Storm). 35 metres out right in front. 6-6
30 min: News ? The under dogs Melbourne have fought well thus far in torrential rain. Conditions are making both teams work hard especially in the ball handling department. The Bulldogs ball movement has been considerably slower than in previous weeks; they?ve found more breaks and metres running out of dummy half.
37 min: Goal ? Orford (Storm). 10 metres out 5 metres wide. 8-6 Storm
Half Time The Storm leave the sheds with the upper hand and deservedly so having adjusted the better of the two sides. Conditions have made it difficult for both sides to spread the ball wide more so for the Bulldogs and both teams kicking games have been ineffective. Possession: Storm 52% - Bulldogs 48% Completions: Storm 68% - Bulldogs 57% Melbourne are leading at the break by 8 to 6.
40 min: Storm kick off
45 min: News ? Dennis Scott is out of the match with ankle ligament damage.
45 min: News ? Ryan Hoffman knocks the ball on after slipping out of several tackles and spilt it after trying to plant the ball over the try line.
60 mins: News ? Theres been errors aplenty by both teams. The Storm have limited the metres the Bulldogs forwards make in a superb defensive effort. The wet weather is clearing up and should help the Bulldogs
65 min: News - Both sides have made 17 errors.
67 min: Sin Bin - Utai (Bulldogs). For pushing down a storm player trying to play the ball near the line.
67 min: Goal - Orford (Storm). 10 metres out in front. 10-6 Storm
69 min: Try ? Hill (Storm). Matt Orford puts in a kick which bounces in front of Tonga before Steven Bell regathered; he throws a short pass to the supporting playing Scott Hill for the try. Matt Orford converts. 16-6 Storm
75 min: Try ? Johnson (Storm). Matt Orford puts a kick in; Willie Tonga trying regather slips over before he could reach it as the Storm players pass it wide to set up Dallas Johnson for the match winning try. Orford converts. 22-6 Storm
79 min: Try ? Utai (Bulldogs). Bulldogs spread it wide and cause an overlap as Matt Utai speeds to score a late consolation try in the corner. El Masri converts. 22-12 Storm
Full Time Fantastic upset victory by Storm to put an end to the Bulldogs 10 game winning streak. The Matt Utai sin binning gave Melbourne an extra two tried to give them the two points. They slowed the Bulldogs go forward by getting in their face and put plenty pressure on the Bulldogs tactical kickers. Possession: Storm 49% - Bulldogs 51% Completions: Storm 63% - Bulldogs 58% Score: 22-12 Storm ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - S Bell (Storm) 1 - M King (Storm) -----------------------------------------