Storm survive against Broncos

The Melbourne Storm have managed to hold onto to a 32-26 victory at Suncorp Stadium over a late finishing Broncos pack.

The Good Friday clash drew a healthy crowd of 40,071 and they weren't disappointed with the level of Rugby League on display.

The Melbourne Storm gave the Broncos a master class exhibition in the opening 15 minutes with three outstanding tries. The video referee awarded Junior Sa'u's four-pointer after only four minutes as there was no hint at double movement as he charged through the Broncos defence.

Storm star fullback, Billy Slater was on song with a hat trick of tries. His first posted in the 10th minute despite questions asked of the video referee for an obstruction play at the scrum as Sam Thaiday was denied a chance to defend.

Five minutes later, Slater was in the action again, this time scoring a completely legal try. Cameron Smith laid the foundation with a short grubber kick through the defence for Slater to dive on. After 15 minutes, the Storm ahead 14-0 over the Broncos.

The video referee was kept busy throughout the night as the Broncos crossed for their first four-pointer with 10 minutes until the half time break. Josh Hoffman was awarded the try with questions on whether he successfully grounded the ball.

The Storm didn't take long to reply with their own try heading into the break as Matt Duffie raced down the right hand touchline thanks to a well-crafted Storm set play which started from a Cooper Cronk chip-kick.

At half time the Storm leaders of the Broncos, 20-6.

 

The second forty minutes was dominated by the Broncos as they attempted to make up for a poor first half. 
 
Josh Hoffman managed to cross the line twice, the first only three minutes after the break as he jumped for the goal line and crashed over. Jack Reed backed up the points with his own four-pointer only two minutes later as Josh Hoffman provided the try assist for Reed to stretch out for the whitewash. 45 minutes gone and the Broncos quickly closing the gap to 20-18. 
 
The Broncos not finished as their new found attack saw them take the lead with 25 minutes on the clock. Fullback Josh Hoffman posted his third try as he managed to twist his body around the corner and plant the ball down. The Broncos, leaders 22-20. 
 
However, the hope of a victory was all but dashed as the Storm surged back into the lead with tries to Billy Slater and Matt Duffie tries inside five minutes. The Storm charged ahead 32-22 with 15 minutes to play as Cooper Cronk showed his class having a hand in the lead up to both tries. 
 
Bronco, Alex Glenn provided the strong home crowd some last minute hope but it was too little too late for the Broncos as they scored the final points in the 72nd minute. The Storm class of the first half too much for the Brisbane boys to overcome as they claimed two premiership points, winning 32-26. 
 
Next week the Broncos travel south to the Gold Coast as the Titans open Skilled Park to do battle with their big brothers. Meanwhile the Storm return home to AAMI Park as they will look to make it five-straight victories coming up against the troubled Wests Tigers.

The second forty minutes was dominated by the Broncos as they attempted to make up for a poor first half. 

Josh Hoffman managed to cross the line twice, the first only three minutes after the break as crashed over the goal line. Jack Reed backed up the points with his own four-pointer, two minutes later as Josh Hoffman provided the try assist for Reed to stretch out for the whitewash. 45 minutes gone and the Broncos quickly closing the gap to 20-18. 

The Broncos weren't finished with their new found attack which saw them take the lead with 25 minutes on the clock. Fullback, Josh Hoffman posted his third try as he managed to twist his body around the corner and plant the ball down. The Broncos, leaders 22-20. 

However, the hope of a victory was all but dashed as the Storm surged back into the lead with tries to Billy Slater and Matt Duffie tries inside five minutes. The Storm charged ahead 32-22 with 15 minutes to play as Cooper Cronk showed his class having a hand in the lead up to both tries. 

Bronco, Alex Glenn provided the strong home crowd some last minute hope but it was too little, too late for the Broncos as they scored the final points in the 72nd minute. The Storm class of the first half was too much for the Brisbane Broncos to overcome as they claimed two premiership points, winning 32-26. 

Next week the Broncos travel south to the Gold Coast as the Titans open Skilled Park to do battle with their big brothers. Meanwhile the Storm return home to AAMI Park as they will look to make it five-straight victories coming up against the troubled Wests Tigers.


Match Details
Brisbane Broncos 26 Melbourne Storm 32
Venue: Lang Park
Crowd: 40,071
Halftime Score: Storm 14-6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Cooper Cronk
2 points - Billy Slater
1 point - Josh Hoffman

BRISBANE BRONCOS (26)
Tries: Josh Hoffman (3), Jack Reed, Allex Glenn
Conversions: Scott Prince (3/5)

MELBOURNE STORM (32)
Tries: Tafeaga Junior Sa'u, Billy Slater (3), Matt Duffie (2)
Field Goals: Cooper Cronk (0/1)
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/6)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Good Evening Rugby League supporters and welcome to LeagueUnlimited.com's coverage LIVE from Suncorp Stadium as the Brisbane Broncos take on the Melbourne Storm. Kick off tonight is from 8:05pm.
TEAM NEWS:
Broncos - Justin Hodges OUT; Jordan Kahu IN

Storm - Slade Griffin and Junior Moors OUT; Kevin Proctor and Siosaia Vave IN
We are minutes away from kick off here at Suncorp Stadium with the clubs getting the final message in the sheds from their coaches.
Cameron Smith leads his club the Melbourne Storm out onto the ground.
Broncos Captain Sam Thaiday leads out his club as the big crowd at Suncorp Stadium is on it's feet welcoming them out.
1 min: We are UNDERWAY at Suncorp Stadium as the Broncos kick off, Cameron Smith comes up with the ball from the kick off.
1 min: Cooper Cronk ends the set with a kick downfield to the Broncos 10 metre line as it's collected by Josh Hoffman in the fullback role.
1 min: Referee Adam Devcich blows a penalty against Bryan Norrie who was ruled to have a hand in the ruck after the held call. Broncos through Scott Prince find touch and attack with a full set on halfway
2 min: Sam Thaiday busted the Melbourne Storm defence open as the Broncos raced up field. However, no points at the end of the set with Josh Hoffman diving for the kick from Wallace in the corner, but the ball beat him. 20 metre restart for the Storm
3 min: Penalty is given against Scott Prince for having a hand in the ruck of Gareth Widdop who was trying to play the ball. Storm attacking from the free kick only 40 metres from the Broncos goal line
4 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Storm, Junior Sa'u charged through the Broncos goal line and reached out for the line. On field referee Jared Maxwell says NO TRY. We are looking at double movement.
4 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Junior Sa'u. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith is unsuccessful.

The video referee awards the four-pointer for Junior Sa'u as there was no hint at double movement as he charged through the Broncos defence to crash over the goal line. Cameron Smith from the left hand touchline is unable to convert as he pushes the kick away to the left.

Melbourne Storm 4-0
6 min: The Storm on a roll from the kick restart managed to get into open space from Mahu Fonua who linked with Ryan Hoffman but he was unable to hold possession. Broncos with possession on their 10 metre line.
7 min: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Ben Hannant makes an unforced error as he took the tackle and went to ground. A scrum feed will be fed by Cooper Cronk for the Storm on halfway.
8 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Storm as Billy Slater as Cooper Cronk linked up with his fullback. There is a question of obstruction from the scrum base as Sam Thaiday was held in the scrum by Bryan Norrie.
9 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith is unsuccessful.

The four-pointer is awarded by the video referee as from the scrum base Cameron Smith quickly passed to his half in Gareth Widdop who found a hole running Billy Slater. The obstruction on Sam Thaiday not penalised as Billy Slater bolted away 50 metres untouched to score the Storm's second try. Cameron Smith from the right touchline this time once again unsuccessful
Melbourne Storm 8-0
13 min: PENALTY awarded to the Storm as Billy Slater was obstructed by the Broncos defenders are Slater tried to jump for the goal from the kick. Cam Smith takes the quick tap and the Storm attack only 10 metres from the goal line
14 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Storm, Billy Slater cashing in again as he raced through off a short kick on the goal line. Looking at the contest for grounding here.
14 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Billy Slater is awarded his second four-pointer off the kick of Cameron Smith as the short grubber kick bounces kindly for Slater in goal. It's all the Storm as they extend their lead with the conversion from Smith next to the uprights.
Melbourne Storm 14-0
16 min: The Storm opening up the Broncos defensive line tonight, the Storm almost getting their fourth try. However, the kick from Gareth Widdop on the last tackle is taken in goal by Josh Hoffman. That earns the Broncos a 20 metre restart.
17 min: Billy Slater took the kick of Prince in the field of play but the chasers off the kick force him back. As a result the Broncos earn themselves a goal line drop out and a repeat set.
19 min: Peter Wallace's kick on the last tackle a poor option as the Storm easily clean up the ball on their goal line. They will work it inside their 10 metre line to start the set
19 min: Corey Parker is getting some attention from the trainers in back play, he remains on the field but could be a concern.
20 min: Forward pass ruled from McCullough to Scott Prince as a result it's a scrum feed on halfway for the Storm.
23 min: Peter Wallace rockets a kick down field which is fumbled by Gareth Widdop, and it's knocked down over the dead ball line. Line drop out for the Broncos
26 min: Penalty to the Broncos as the Storm hold down too long in the ruck. The Broncos attack just shy of halfway to start their new set
27 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Broncos, Josh Hoffman danced back into the to charge over the goal line. Questions over the grounding as the ball was placed on the leg of Cooper Cronk
28 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Josh Hoffman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.

The video referee overturns on the decision and Josh Hoffman despite firstly grounding the ball on the leg of Cooper Cronk is awarded the four-pointer. The video referee rules Hoffman did ground the ball in the charge of the line. Scott Prince with the conversion attempt is successul from touch.
Melbourne Storm 14-6
30 min: Penalty to the Storm against the Broncos markers who were ruled offside at the play of the ball. The Storm find touch with the free kick and begin their set on their 40 metre line.
31 min: Another penalty to the Storm against Scott Prince as Billy Slater was collected high in the tackle across the face. Slater feeling the affects of the tackle. The Storm attacking only 20 metres away from the goal line now
35 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Matt Duffie. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

The Storm opening up the Broncos defensive line again with a play started with a chip kick from Cooper Cronk which was collected by Billy Slater. His speed took him through a gap, he linked up with Will Chambers on the right side of the ground who bolted down the touch to find the hands of Matt Duffie who dived over in the corner. Cam Smith from the touchline adds the extras this time around.
Melbourne Storm 20-6
40 min: Cooper Cronk looked to shape for a field goal attempt on half time, but kicked over and out instead. So at HALF TIME at Suncorp Stadium: Storm leading the Broncos 20-6.
41 min: We are back UNDERWAY at Suncorp Stadium as Cameron Smith kicks off as it's taken by Peter Wallace in goal and charged over over the line by Scott Anderson.
43 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Josh Hoffman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.

Josh Hoffman dives over in the corner as the Broncos races across the field. Wallaces spread across to Jack Reed to provides the final pass for Josh Hoffman to dive over in the corner. Scott Prince from the left touchline rockets the Steeden between the sticks.
Melbourne Storm 20-12
44 min: Penalty to the Broncos for a slow play of the ball. Broncos attacking on their 40 metre line after a marker failed to clear the ruck quick enough.
45 min: VIDEO REFEREE for Broncos, as Jack Reed charged for the goal line and reached out over the whitewash. We are looking at the grounding and a double movement.
45 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Jack Reed. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince successful.

Jack Reed is awarded a try after taking an inside pass from Josh Hoffman. He reached out for the goal line through three Storm defenders and is awarded for his effort. Scott Prince once again from the touchline is successful
Melbourne Storm 20-18
49 min: Penalty to the Broncos for the Storm ruled offside. As David Stagg is assisted off the field under the power of the trainers. Possible leg.ankle injury.
54 min: VIDEO REFEREE once again for the Broncos as Josh Hoffman dived over in the left corner. We are looking at the grounding and touchline.
54 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Josh Hoffman. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.

Josh Hoffman has his HAT TRICK as the video referee has no troubles in awarding the try after he twisted his body around the corner and planted down the ball. Scott Prince from the same spot on the left touchline guides away from the uprights and it's no goal.
Brisbane Broncos 22-20
55 min: Penalty against Ben Hannant for being offside, inside the 10 metres from the kick of Scott Prince. Storm with the ball on their own 30 metre line.
57 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Storm, we have NO TRY. Jesse Bromwich going over, looking at obstruction.
57 min: No try, penalty is given for an obstruction on Kevin Proctor has he created a block run for Jesse Bromwich to stroll over. Broncos working it off their goal line.
62 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Billy Slater claims his hat trick as he cleaned up the high bomb from Cooper Cronk and spun over the goal line to score. Cam Smith converts from out wide to reclaim the lead
Melbourne Storm 26-22
67 min: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Matt Duffie. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Matt Duffie is awarded his try as Cooper Cronk on show again with a great running play for the corner. Cam Smith from the left sideline is successful
Melbourne Storm 32-22
72 min: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Allex Glenn. Conversion attempt by Scott Prince unsuccessful.

Alex Glenn dived in on the left side after running off a great pass from Corey Norman. The Broncos still in this now, but with the conversion from Scott Prince is unsuccessful.
Melbourne Storm 32-26
80 min: FULL TIME at Suncorp Stadium, The Broncos unable to continue the late chase for points as the Melbourne Storm closed out victors, 32-26 in front of a crowd of 40,071.
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