Storm rides over the Broncos

This game had all the hallmarks to be a cracker, with team changes for both sides with players backing up after representative duties. Last time these sides met the Broncos got the better of the Melbourne Storm, 36-14 back when AAMI Park first opened in Round 9, 2010. The pattern continued tonight with the Storm at the Broncos home ground defeating them 29-22 in front of a crowd of 34,175.

The "big three" were in action early with the opening try in the 16th minute. As a try constructed by Cooper Cronk as he ran it wide and long passing the ball on the back on the inside. The Broncos defence weakened for a moment to open holes in their, what had been good tonight, goal line defence. Dane Nielsen collected the pass to crash over the line in the corner. Cameron Smith's kick was beautiful from the sideline to give the Storm a 6-0 lead.

The Storm from dummy half with Cameron Smith, he picked up the ball out of the ruck. Getting a short pass on his inside to the running Ryan Hinchcliffe. He found a hole in the Broncos defensive line, crashing over in what was a simple effort to back up his try scored for Country last night.

In a play which started with a rare break from Corey Parker, the Broncos lock made 20 metres before being brought down by the Storm defenders. In the next set the Broncos finally opened their points account just before half time in the 36th minute. From dummy half, the ball went to the open side to Peter Wallace and he went to the option of the grubber into the in goal area. Billy Slater was covering the ball, but in his attempt to hit the ball over the dead ball line he failed. The rare error from Slater saw Gerard Beale diving on the lose ball to score. Broncos hitting back to trail 6-12.

At half time, the Broncos at home were continuing their title of best defensive side in the league, but in parts their goal line defence wasn't up to the usual standard, clearly due to lack of representative stars. The Storm's attacking flare was dominant in the opening 40 minutes with Cooper Cronk controlling the action and getting the Melbourne side rolling.

It was creativity versus discipline. This was how the opening half went with the Storm conceding 5 penalties to 1 of the Broncos. If the Storm wished to go on with it they needed to settle and control the match. If the Broncos wanted to fight back, Coach Griffin needed to instill confidence in the side and get them out fighting.

However the Storm were to go on to win this, with the Baby Broncos not holding up to the experience of the Melbourne Trio.

In the second half, on the back of their 7th penalty, the Broncos found themselves on the scoreboard again. Beale received the ball on the back of wide passing. He took on the defensive line of the Storm, threw a dummy, and with strong running he got a hole open and crashed over the line to beat 4 defenders for his second of the night. Parker's kick was lovely and straight over the black dot, the Storm's lead closed, Brisbane drawing level at 12 points all.

Not to be out done the Storm, a 50 metre try to the visitors was next. A lovely inside pass from Kevin Proctor to Maurice Blair saw the Storm replacement make a line break and get it back to Cooper Cronk, who took on the scrambling defence of the Broncos. But the Storm's Sisa Waqa got the short ball to step around the defence at the line to collect his first four-pointer for the Melbourne side, who took a 16-12 lead with Smith failing to convert the try.

For the first time in the match, the Video Referee was brought in and he ruled a try to Cooper Cronk. On the back of a high kick, the Storm getting two hit backs, running on the blind side and passing the ball to the winger, Anthony Quinn who put everyone on side to kick it low and short back inside with a grubber into the in goal area. As Cronk was running in from the open side to pick up the angled kick, he got his sixth try for the season. Smith's conversion put the Storm in front by ten.

In the 63rd minute, a solo performance from youngest bloke on the field Jack Reed was showcased as he went for a 45 metre run on the back of a long pass from Wallace. He flicked off Slater in his run and 4 other feeble Storm defenders. Reed showed his strength to run all the way to the in goal area. That try was the Broncos first from inside their own half for 2011. Parker not making any error for the Broncos with the boot kicking 3/3 at this point.

In the 71st minute, the Video Referee was brought for the second time. Green lights again from Sean Hampstead - as fighting for the ball in the air, Dane Gagai went high to beat Quinn of the Storm to the ball. In what was a messy high ball he was able to control the ball to ground it one handed inside the right corner post. Amazing skill to ground it in what was the highlight of the match. Parker missed his first of the night, locking the game up at 22-all.

With the game locked up, Cronk tried his hand at the one pointer, but in the 74rd minute, 30 metres out in front of the posts he failed to convert a field goal attempt. Only two minutes later back in the same position and with a little more room to take the shot, he was this time successful. The game being lead by one for the Storm, 23-22 with only six minutes remaining.

From the field goal of Cronk, the Broncos went for the short kick off from Corey Parker. The ball failed to find the 10 metres, only bouncing 5 metres before going out. The ensuing penalty to the Storm set them up in great territory to close out the match.

In the 78th minute, the Storm took their chance from the penalty through Cameron Smith, kicking the ball into the in goal area. Gareth Widdop chased through the line to soccer the ball further into the in goal. Three Storm players attempting to dive over the line to collect the try, but came down to the only two although Quinn beating them to place a hand on the ball to get his 4 pointer.
Cameron Smith backed his effort in that try to kick the goal. He finished with 3 from 4 overall.

The Storm in the end showed their experience and class to hold out the baby Broncos, who, in a performance although losing, should be proud of the effort they put up against a world class side. Melbourne now sit at the top of the NRL, however they can be knocked off with a win to the Dragons tomorrow. All in all a great effort from both sides and a victory well deserved.

Next week the Storm head home to host the lowly Raiders at AAMI Park on Saturday evening, while Brisbane are at Centrebet Stadium to tackle Penrith in Friday night football.

Match Details
Brisbane Broncos 22 were defeated by Melbourne Storm 29
National Rugby League - Round 9 - Saturday May 7, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Jeff Younis and Gavin Atkins
Crowd: 34,175
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 6 Melbourne Storm 12

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Cooper Cronk (1 Try, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Cameron Smith (4 Conversions)
1 Point - Gerard Beale (2 Tries)

BRISBANE BRONCOS (22)
Tries: Gerard Beale (2), Dane Gagai, Jack Reed
Conversions: Corey Parker (3/4)

MELBOURNE STORM (29)
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Anthony Quinn, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Sisa Waqa, Dane Nielsen
Field Goals: Cooper Cronk (1/1)
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/5)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Some players backing up from Rep Football. Matt Duffie and Todd Lowrie are out along with Beau Champion for the Storm. Maurice Blair likely to come in for Beau Champion. Smith, Cronk, Slater, Blair and Hinchcliffe will play.

Broncos: Lockyer, Hannant, Hodges and Thaiday OUT. Yow Yeh and Beale will play, Norman to bench.

The Team will be confirmed very soon.
This game has all the hallmarks to be a cracker, with team changes for both sides with players backing up representative duties. Last time these sides met the Broncos got the better defeating the Melbourne Storm, 36 points to 14 back when AAMI Park first opened in Round 9, 2010.
Toyota Cup tonight went the way of Melbourne Storm 38-24.
FINAL TEAMS NAMED:

BRONCOS team:
20 Beale 2 Gagai 3 Reed 4 Copley 21 Yow Yeh 6 B Hunt 7 Wallace 8 Kenny 9 McCullough 10 Dodds 11 Glenn 12 Carlaw 13 Parker
Interchange: 1 Norman 15 S Anderson 16 D Lui 17 Hala

STORM team:
1 Slater 2 Quinn 3 Nielsen 20 M Blair 18 Waqa 6 Widdop 7 Cronk 8 Bromwich 9 Smith 10 Norrie 11 A Blair 12 Proctor 19 Kostjasyn

Interchange: 14 Hinchcliffe 15 Vea 16 Woolnough 17 Lowe
We are underway from Suncorp Stadium for this Round 9 Clash between the Brisbane Broncos and the Melbourne Storm. Referee Shayne Hayne says let's go with the Storm kicking off through Cameron Smith. The Broncos getting the first use of the football
1 min: Good opening set from the Broncos, Billy Slater collecting the ball inside his own 20 metre line and then wrapped by 4 defenders.
2 min: First Penalty of the match. Kevin Proctor laying in the ruck. Broncos getting the early chance to score. They attack inside the Storm 40 metre line.
4 min: Storm attacking out of their own half, and to get out they pass it wide with each player getting a touch. At the end of the set, the ball is sent down into the Broncos end of the field with Yow Yeh collecting it.
5 min: Dane Carlaw giving away the penalty. He held onto Billy Slater too long and thus the Storm will attack inside the Broncos 40 metre line.
6 min: Storm looking for a way through the Broncos line. There are lacking the control and direction the storm. The scramble defence from the Broncos is top notch. The attack is stop with the ball going into touch.
8 min: Penalty to the Broncos on the back of an obstruction call against Cooper Cronk. Sisa Waqa leaping high into the in goal area to collect it before Cooper was penaltised
10 min: An Early kick from Cronk looking for a 40/20 on the 3rd tackle. Broncos will work it inside their own 30 metre line.
11 min: End of the set and Storm back on the attack. Gagi slow in back play, getting assistance with the trainer.
11 min: Zero tackle for the Storm, attacking on halfway. Storm need to find their direction as they have had the most opening chances to create something
12 min: Goal Line drop out for the Storm. Kick from Cronk, it was collected by Wallace but Slater was forced him into the in goal area.
13 min: Storm attacking set ended with the Broncos getting the 20 metre restart. Ball taken easily on the back of a kick.
14 min: Broncos backing up with a good set, after being under good attacking pressure from the Storm.
15 min: Double knock on ruled from the referees. Scrum feed centre field. First knock on with the Broncos.
16 min: TRY
A try constructed by Cooper Cronk, running it wide and long back on the inside. The Broncos defence weakening for a moment to open holes in their, what has been good tonight, goal line defence. Dane Nielsen collecting the passing to crash over the line in the corner.

A beautiful kick from Smith to take the lead to 6 points.
Melbourne Storm 6-0
21 min: Kick from Wallace going across field, the ball bouncing away from everyone with the ball rolling into the dead ball zone. Storm have it from the 20 metre line.
23 min: Billy Slater making a rare error, the ball off the kick come down from Andrew McCullough. He tried to collect it but getting a hand to the ball. Scrum packing down for the Broncos on the 30 metre line.
24 min: On the back of the scrum. Alex Glenn attempting to catch the face pass from Peter Wallce, but failing to be in the right position, knocks on in the Broncos best chance of the night. Scrum to the Storm on their own 10 metre.
26 min: Knock on against the Storm. Corey Parker attempting to catch and pass. Scrum feed to the Storm. inside the broncos 30 metre line.
28 min: TRY
From dumby half, Smith picks up the ball. Gets a short pass on his inside to the running Hinchcliffe, he found a hole in the Broncos defence line. Crashing over the line in what was a simple effort. That backs up his try scored for Country last night.
Melbourne Storm 12-0
31 min: Beale good under the high ball. BUT another error. losing it from the ball return to hand it back to the storm. They attack inside the 10 metre zone.
32 min: Beale takes the ball from a low Slater grubber in the in goal area. In which the Storm get a repeat set by forcing the drop out.
33 min: Slater looking to create a try from nothing. He ran it wide to throw the cut-out pass. The ball too high from Slater to Quinn, the ball going to the touchie and the Broncos defence holding up.
34 min: Broncos 5th tackle option not very good. Ball going out on the full, the Storm playing the ball on their own 40 metre line. Storm the better side in the opening 40 minutes.
35 min: In a rare break from Corey Parker, he made 20 metres before being brought down by the Storm defenders.
36 min: TRY
Broncos finally open their points account just before half time. From dumby half the ball went to the open side to Wallace and he went to the option of the grub into the in goal area. Billy Slater covering the ball, but in his attempt to hit the ball over the dead ball line. Not enough on it, an error from Slater, Beale diving on the lose ball to score.
Melbourne Storm 12-6
39 min: Another Penalty. Broncos through a big long kick from Wallace, get the ball for 3 plays on the 50 metre line.
40 min: Peter Wallace slow in back play. Half time siren sounds. Storm are the better side, their attacking style showing through strong. Although credit in parts to the best defensive side in the NRL, the Broncos.
The Broncos at home are continuing their title of best defensive side in the league, but in parts their goal line defence isn't up to standard. This is due to the lack of representative stars. The Storm's attacking flare is dominating in the opening 40 minutes with Cooper Cronk controlling the action and getting the Melbourne side rolling.

Creative verse discipline. This is how the opening half went with the Storm conceding 5 penalties to 1 of the Broncos. If the Storm wish to go on with this they need to settle and control the match. If the Broncos want to fight back, Coach Griffin will need to instill confidence in the side and get them out fighting.

First team to score will win this match. Storm will go on to win this with the Baby Broncos won't hold up to the experience of the Melbourne Trio.
Second Half is underway at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos have the capable to came back and steal the win. But the Stats are against them, as when the Storm have had a half time lead, 98 out of 103 times they have gone to win the match. Referee Hayne blows time back on for this one.
40 min: The Storm opening the half with a good set, forcing the Broncos to start their set inside their own 10 metre line on the back of a good kick from Slater.
42 min: Penalty for laying in the ruck, going against the Storm. The Broncos getting another set, with the first hit up through Alex Glenn. They attack inside the Storm 30 metre line.
43 min: Cronk Collecting the ball from a kick off Hunt. Wallace chasing through on the kick to hold Cronk in the in goal to get the drop out.
44 min: Penalty count up to 7-1 with another given against the Storm. Broncos go on the attack inside the 10 metre line of the Broncos.
44 min: TRY
On the back of their 7th penalty for the Broncos. Beale found himself with the ball on the back of wide passing. He took on the defensive line of the Storm, threw a dumby and with strong running he got a hole open and crash over the line to beat 4 defenders.

Parker's kick was lovely and straight over the black dot.
12 all
50 min: The Storm leading in the opening minutes, but they have invited the Broncos back in. Broncos have been running strong early and defusing the high balls.
51 min: Penalty to the Storm, only their 2nd of the night. The storm will get the ball on half way. They need to back it up with a good completed set.
52 min: Cooper Cronk running the ball on the 3rd tackle, an error from the Broncos, again cooper collects the ball. Referee ruled advantaged had been played from the error. Scrum feed to the Broncos on their 20 metre line.
53 min: 4th Tackle for the Broncos and Norman collecting the lose ball and kicked it away down to the Storm, who bring it back to the 40 metre line on the 2nd tackle.
53 min: TRY
A 50 metre try to the Storm. Lovely inside pass from Kevin Proctor to Maurice Blair who got a run and line break to get it back to Cronk to take on the scrambling defence of the Broncos. But the Storm's Sisa Waqa got the short ball to step around the defence at the line to collect his 4 pointer.

Smith's kick just shaved the outside upright but missed.
Melbourne Storm 18-12
57 min: VIDEO REFEREE DECISION. POSSIBLE TRY TO COOPER CRONK
57 min: TRY
Video Referee says TRY! On the back of a high kick, the storm getting two hit backs, running on the blind side to pass the ball to the winger. Anthony Quinn who put everyone on side to kick it low and short with a grubber into the in goal area. As Cronk was running in from the open side to pick up the angled kick to pick up his 6th try in 2011.

Cameron Smith yet to miss tonight, he extends the lead by 12 points.
Melbourne Storm 24-12
59 min: The ball from Slater kicking soccer style beating the Broncos line, with Cronk running through looking for his second of the night. But the ball beat everyone and went dead.
61 min: Showing great confidence Billy Slater, as he collected the high ball and running 10 metres before offloading the ball out of a tackle to his winger Blair.
62 min: TRY
A solo performance from youngest Jack Reed, he went for a 45 metre run on the back of a long pass from Wallace. He flicked off Slater in his run and 4 other defenders. Reed showing his strength to run all the way to the in goal area. That try was the Broncos first from inside their own half for 2011.

Parker not making any error for the Broncos with the boot. 3/3
Melbourne Storm 22-18
67 min: Inside ball from Wallace, a knock on ruled against the Broncos. Scrum feed to the Storm on the 40 metre line. Storm on the attack
68 min: Cameron Smith in a solo effort took on the Broncos line, but he is held out by only half a metre.
68 min: Broncos quick on the back of an error from the Storm, the lose ball picked up by Beale and he quickly turned defence into attack.
69 min: Double knock on ruled. First ruled against Slater and Scrum packed with Broncos feed. Only 15 metres from Storm line with Hayne giving the players a lesson on how to pack a scrum
70 min: Good running, left to right go the Broncos in very short passes. everyone getting a hand on the ball. But no luck in that play, held out.
71 min: VIDEO REFEREE DECISION PENDING. POSSIBLE TRY TO Dane Gagai
71 min: TRY
Green lights again from the Video Referee. As Fighting for the ball in the air, Gagai as he beat Quinn to the ball, in what was a messy high ball he was able to control the ball to ground it one handed inside the right corner post.

Parker missing the conversion to lock the game at 22-all
22 all
74 min: Cronk missing the attempt at field goal. Slicing off his boot. no goal. 30 metres out from the posts.
76 min: FIELD GOAL
Cooper Cronk in front of the posts, 20 metres out. and he slapped it over the posts.
Melbourne Storm 23-22
77 min: Short kick off from Corey Parker. The ball failed to find the 10 metres, only bouncing 5 metres before going out. Penalty given to the Storm
78 min: TRY
Cameron Smith kicking the ball into the in goal area. Gareth Widdop through the line to soccer kick the ball further into the in goal. Three Storm players attempting to dive over the line to collect the try, but came down to the only two but Quinn beating them to place a hand on the ball to get his 4 pointer.

Smith not missing this one. 3/4 tonight
Melbourne Storm 29-22
80 min: FULL TIME: Storm out playing the Broncos in the end 29 points to 22. The Baby Broncos should be proud of that effort over the experienced Storm.

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