Storm slip past tenacious Titans

Melbourne have recorded a tough 24-20 victory against a gallant Gold Coast Titans outfit in front of 6,497 fans at Cbus Super Stadium tonight.

Origin shortened rounds does mean teams are missing their superstar players but it also gives those who come in a chance to shine in their absence.

Ben Roberts showed a reminder of his 2009 form when he spied a gap between Ben Ridge and Luke Bailey before using his speed to get past William Zillman for the opener.

They opened up a ten point lead when Will Chambers started and finished a movement. The centre had his kick rebound into Hampton's hands before it got back to Chambers for a 10-nil lead for the Storm.

Fight and effort has been a key characteristic of the Gold Coast side in 2014. Despite the injury of Beau Henry early on, Maurice Blair stepped in to the playmaking position. The five-eighth laid on two kicks for two tries.

The first followed an error by Chambers in-goal allowing Brad Tighe to swoop in for the Titans first points. A rugby league ball can take a wicked bounce and it displayed it's devilish charm for Gordon's try as it bounced over both Storm players into his hands.

It was an action packed start to the second half with Joel Romelo sin-binned two minutes after the resumption due to repeated infringements. Gordon stepped up and slotted the easy penalty goal for the lead, the first the Titans held in the game.

The lead would see-saw though in the first half of the second half. Despite being down to twelve men, Melbourne found fringe origin selection Will Chambers who grabbed his brace and the Storm lead.

Once again - the Titans fought back. They stretched an inexperienced Storm defence from left to right finding speedster James Robert who used some pace to cross the line. Gold Coast with their injuries and origin call-ups were hanging in there with the 2013 champions.

Melbourne would finally put the gallant Gold Coast away with a two try salvo in the final ten minutes. Forward Jesse Bromwich showed some skill breaking into backfield before linking up with Ben Hampton for the try.

Bromwich would be involved again with his pass opening space for the Storm backline. Kurt Mann showed some Slateresque guile to cut between defenders and plant the ball down. Storm led 24-16 and despite a late try to Kevin Gordon they held on a 24-20 victory.

Next week the Titans host the Dragons on Sunday afternoon while the Storm head home to play the high-flying Eels at AAMI Park.


Match Details
Gold Coast Titans 20 Melbourne Storm 24
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
Crowd: 6497
Halftime Score: Gold Coast Titans 10 Melbourne Storm 10

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jesse Bromwich
2 points - Will Chambers
1 point - Mark Minichiello

GOLD COAST TITANS (20)
Tries: Brad Tighe, Kevin Gordon (2), James Roberts
Conversions: Kevin Gordon (1/4)
Penalty Goals: Kevin Gordon (1/1)

MELBOURNE STORM (24)
Tries: Ben Roberts, Will Chambers (2), Ben Hampton, Kurt Mann
Conversions: Ben Roberts (2/5)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS | Big shuffles amongst both squads today. The Titans lose Paul Carter (club suspension), Albert Kelly (injured) and Dave Taylor (Origin duty). Beau Henry will play halfback, Mark Minichiello moves into the second row for Carter, Brad Takairangi moves to the second row to partner Mini, while Ben Ridge moves to the bench. Ashley Harrison makes his return at lock, and James Roberts will start at centre. Mark Ioane drops off the extended bench.
The Storm make similar adjustments to last week - Cameron Munster is OUT with Will Chambers slipping into centre and Kurt Mann shifting to fullback. Junior Moors will start at lock with Kenny Bromwich dropping to the bench. Romelo Glasby and McLean are the three joining Kenny there, with Hunt, Kaufusi and Robinson dropping off the extended bench named last week.

Welcome to the Gold Coast! Tonight we have an intriguing contest between two origin ravaged sides in Gold Coast and Melbourne. This means though there are chances for those who come in to impress their coaches. Join us for live coverage at 7pm.

Both sides are on the field. Melbourne kick-off and we're underway.

1: Not the best start for the Titans, the kick was too close to a defender and rebounded to Falloon who was caught. Melbourne ball forty metres out.

3: PENALTY STORM! Hand in the ruck has silenced the sparse crowd in at Robina.

5: Ben Hampton tries to locate his Young winger who spilled it into the hands of Beau Henry. The halfback spied the try-line but was ankle tapped by the difference, sliding into touch.

6: Mahe Fonua with a loose carry, had the ball knocked out. Referees deem it a strip, so Storm PENALTY.

8: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Sisa Waqa makes an unforced error.

Melbourne created an overlap but Waqa couldn't reel in the pass.

8: SIX MORE for the Titans, as they have a rare foray into the Storm half.

9: Storm have repelled them for twelve tackles. They will need to do six more, as Waqa had to bat the ball dead.

12: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ben Roberts. Kick to come.

Ben "The Difference" Roberts has opened the scoring here! He spied a gap between Ridge and Bailey put on the pace, dummied Zillman and scored.

13: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Ben Roberts successful.

Ben will take kicking duties, as well in Smith's absence. The shot from in-front sails through.

19: VIDEO REFEREE: Chambers might have one.

19: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Will Chambers. Kick to come.

The luck isn't falling for the home side. Chambers with a nothing kick rebounded off a Titan into Hampton's hands who linked up with Bromwich who stood, offloaded and Chambers scores.

20: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Ben Roberts unsuccessful.

Roberts lining up his second from a bit further out, hooks it.

22: PENALTY against Tohu Harris. He went a tad high. Zillman milked it a little.

24: Some fancy feet from Mark Minichiello there, got him outside his marker before he gave a flick pass to Ridge who gave it Roberts who spilled it.

27: PENALTY Titans - Matt White was held down too long.

28: VIDEO REFEREE: Brad Tighe might have a try, checking grounding.

28: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Brad Tighe. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! A nicely placed grubber from Maurice Blair was airballed by Chambers allowing Brad Tighe to swoop in.

30: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Kevin Gordon successful.

Kevin Gordon taking kicking duties tonight - puts it through.

32: PENALTY Storm - Hampton caught them offside.

33: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ben Hampton makes an unforced error.

Hampton muddles up a pass that he really should have taken.

34: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Kick to come.

Two Blair kicks, two Titans tries. It was a wicked bounce over Waqa and Mann into Gordon's hands.

35: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Kevin Gordon unsuccessful.

Gordon from wider out this time, misses.

36: PENALTY Titans - momentum is shifting now, that was for head on head contact.

40: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Kevin Proctor makes an unforced error.

A final chance for the Storm after an ill-advised offload from the Storm is knocked on by Proctor.

40: We're back for the second half of action here at CBUS Super Stadium. Melbourne take residence in the northern end of the stadium. Titans kick-off and here we go again!

43: PENALTY Titans - Tohu Harris was offside after a falcon from Ben Roberts.

43: Another PENALTY to the Titans. Bailey takes it quick and catches them off.

44: SIN BIN
Joel Romelo is sent to the sin bin.

meaning Young Joel is sent to the sin bin. Titans opt for two.

45: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Kevin Gordon successful.

Gordon pilots the points.

47: PENALTY Storm - Titans held on too long.

48: SIX MORE.. Storm.

50: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Will Chambers. Kick to come.

There is two in the Chamber(s) now for the Storm. A nice ball from Hampton gave him space to stop, step and fend off Tighe to score.

51: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Ben Roberts unsuccessful.

Ben Roberts with his toughest assignment thus far from the sideline.. he walks in fades it away.

54: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Brad Takairangi makes an unforced error.

Takairangi knocks it on, looking for an offload.

55: A nice kick from Hampton is almost snatched by Mann. Zillman just gets there before him.

56: PENALTY against Storm. Kevin Gordon was taken in the air by an early arriving Sisa.

56: PENALTY Titans - hand on the ball.

58: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by James Roberts. Kick to come.

Titans stretched the Storm there. On the previous tackle they tried to position Gordon who was tackled. On the next, it was a shift to the right for Roberts who used his speed to cross.

59: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Kevin Gordon unsuccessful.

Kevin Gordon from out wide, walks in and pushes it against the upright and out.

63: Storm weren't going very far there.. and Roberts tried to spark something on last, throwing it forward.

64: SIX MORE as Waqa interrupts an overlap.

65: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Ashley Harrison makes an unforced error.

Harrison goes without the ball. Storm ruck it out.

68: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Luke Douglas makes an unforced error.

Douglas was hit hard and spilled it.

71: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Ben Hampton. Kick to come.

Jesse Bromwich, yes you read that right.. got into the backfield there drew the fullback found Hinchcliffe who found Hampton to re-take the lead.

72: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Ben Roberts successful.

Roberts puts it through the sticks.

74: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Mahe Fonua makes an unforced error.

Mahe couldn't do anything with a second kick on last and knocks on.

76: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Kurt Mann. Kick to come.

Kurt is the Mann and has sealed a victory for the Storm. It started once again from Jesse Bromwich doing some ball playing.

77: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Ben Roberts unsuccessful.

Roberts to put them up ten once again.. puts it wide again.

77: Short kick-off is spilled by Roberts. Titans with a chance to give us a grandstand finish.

77: VIDEO REFEREE: Get it to Gordon, have they? We will find out!

77: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Gordon got it down inches inside the dead-ball. It was a nice bit of vision from Zillman for the chip kick.

77: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION GOLD COAST TITANS
Conversion attempt by Kevin Gordon unsuccessful.

He hooked it left.

79: PENALTY Storm - offside from the kick. Unlucky as Blair's kick was great.

80: FULLTIME!

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