Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
With foggy and cold conditions rolling into Olympic Park, the match was a fairly scrappy affair with plenty of dropped ball from both sides.
But a brace of tries to five eighth Greg Inglis, including a sensational burst before the half time break, gave Melbourne supporters plenty to cheer about.
The Raiders tried hard all night and the score line was not indicative of the effort displayed by the visitors. But it was apparent that the Storm were a class above.
In posting their six tries to one, the competition leaders continue their tremendous home ground record and their seventh consecutive win this year.
Next Friday the Storm take on the Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium, while the Raiders have the opportunity to redeem themselves when they meet the Panthers in Canberra.
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Cold and foggy night in Melbourne. Players coming onto the field. Kick off soon... Storm will have first use of the ball. KICK OFF!
5 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Centre Matt Geyer scores in the corner after chasing down an attacking kick and touching down on the line. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful, great kick. Melbourne Storm 6-0
15 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Winger Israel Folau makes a tremendous bust down the right side, stepping around the defence and proving too good as he scores his 18th try of the year. Ominous signs for the visitors. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith, a few metres in from touch, is successful. Melbourne Storm 12-0
21 min: NO TRY Raiders denied. Centre Phil Graham contesting a high kick.
23 min: TRY Canberra Raiders Well worked try along the backline as backrower Glenn Turner dives over. Video ref checks on obstruction but the Raiders are given the green light. Conversion attempt by Michael Dobson from just wide of the posts is successful. Melbourne Storm 12-6
30 min: Still 12-6 in favour of the home side with the Raiders making a go of it and coming close to scoring again in the 26th minute. End-to-end stuff from teams.
32 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Five eighth Greg Inglis scores out wide, taking a pass on the burst from fullback Billy Slater, super quick hands along the backline from 30m out and very hard to defend against. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful. Melbourne Storm 16-6
35 min: INJURY - Big clash of the forwards with Raiders prop Michael Weyman delivering the shoulder charge but coming off second best. Weyman looks heavily concussed and is assisted from the field.
Half time: Storm 16-6 Possession pretty even but Raiders missing too many tackles. Both sides guilty of a few handling errors. Canberra still in the match but they have the work to do. Storm yet to get into top gear.
Second half underway...
42 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Winger Steve Turner scores following a cross field kick from halfback Cooper Cronk. Turner is on his lonesome out wide and picks up the ball for an easy try. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 22-6
58 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Centre Matt King scores 10m in from touch. Cronk, Slater and Inglis combining in the lead up with some sharp passing on the left side. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful. Melbourne Storm 28-6
67 min: HELD UP - Raiders fullback William Zillman is held up over the line. NO TRY - Raiders denied after a forward pass is ruled. The effort is there from the Raiders but they're not coming up with the results.
70 min: TRY Melbourne Storm Inglis sights an opening from 10m out and pushes the defence aside to score. 10m in from touch and Cameron Smith is having a great night with the boot. Conversion attempt by is successful. Melbourne Storm 34-6
76 min: NO TRY - Raiders denied. Bronx Goodwin just pulling up short after pulling off a one-on-one strip on James Aubusson in front of the Storm uprights.
Full time: Melbourne Storm defeat Canberra Raiders 34-6 Melbourne have posted their seventh win on the trot and are looking unbackable as competition favourites. Not their best performance by a long shot and the game never rose to any great heights, but the result was never in any real doubt. It was comprehensive victory with the home side simply having too much class across the park. Raiders tried hard all the way but it was never to be.