GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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Melbourne Storm 46 v Wests Tigers 4
at Olympic Park Melbourne
Referee: Sean Hampstead
The Melbourne Storm have won their 15th straight at home and have gone very close to ending the Tigers season.
The Storm led 16-4 with the game in the balance at halftime before showing their class to runaway with the match by 46 points to 4.
Kiwi international Jake Webster created some more selection headaches for coach Craig Bellamy as he crossed for a career record of four tries.
Also on the try scoring list was former Panther and Titans bound Steve Turner who grabbed a double.
The Storm got off to the best start possible with two early tries, also helped by a call from referee Sean Hampstead and his touch judges with Steve Turner scoring the first try from a clear cut forward pass.
The Tigers throughout the first half did look like the Tigers of old with the ball in hand with Scott Prince having a strong game and they got a reward for it right on half time as former Bulldog Jamaal Lolesi finished off a strong second man play from the visitors.
You would think that the Tigers would come out in the second half with all to play for with their season on the line, but it was anything but that.
A penalty goal just after halftime put the Storm up by 14 but then just moments later Inglis grabbed a try for the home side to just about seal it with still half an hour to play.
The night was capped off by veteran Matt Geyer scoring beside the posts with young gun Inglis showing his kicking abilities by converting.
Cameron Smith showed his ability to kick goals throughout the match, kicking six from eight all from the sideline.
The Storm have just about wrapped up the minor premiership for season 2006 while the Tigers sit in twelve position and after this weekend could be two wins outside the all important top eight.
Melbourne Storm: 46
Tries: Matt Geyer, Greg Inglis, Steve Turner(2), Jake Webster(4)
Goals: Greg Inglis 1/1, Cameron Smith 6/8
Wests Tigers: 4
Tries: Jamaal Lolesi
By the Clock:
The Storm have rested State of Origin representatives Matt King and Dallas Johnson for this clash with Greg Inglis coming in to the centres and Jeremy Smith in to lock.
The Tigers are as per the program and need a victory to stay in touch with the top 8 and keep their dream of wining back to back premierships alive.
The Tigers are down the tunnel led out by Scott Prince in their orange jerseys.
The Storm are led out by David Kidwell tonight in their purple and navy jerseys.
Sean Hampstead is the referee.
3 min: NEWS Some good Storm defence holds out the Tigers in the opening minutes after an early penalty sent the Tigers on the attack.The Tigers do look promising with the ball in hand already.
7 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Turner gets the scoreboard ticking early in the match.On reply it shows that the final pass was at least 2 metres forward.However there is some doubt that Hoffman did throw an around the corner offload which makes the pass look forward.
Smith can't convert from the sideline.
10 min: A crossfield chip in midfield by Cooper Cronk finds Jake Webster who goes for the line, and finds Kidwell who can't hang on to the ball.
14 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
The Storm get six more tackles from a knock on by Lawrence from a kick,then on the next tackle they go wide from a run around and Jake Webster scores in the corner.
Smith from the sideline this time converts.
21 min: Greg Inglis breaks through and probably would have run 60 metres to score if it wasnt for an ankle tap from Scott Prince.
24 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Jake Webster gets a double as the Storm go wide once again where they are finding some gaps in the Tigers defence.
Smith from the sideline converts it.
28 min: Scott Hill dives for the line but is pulled up just short.On the replay it shows it could well have been a try.
30 min: A penalty to the Tigers for a lifting penalty against the Storm.Looks like Scott Hill could be in some trouble for that.
32 min: A poor end to the set for the Tigers as Tuiaki knocks on for the second time in the match close to the line.
35 min: Scotty Prince kicks for himself and looks to be there to score before Greg Inglis like a thief in the night gets there and kicks the ball dead.
36 min: TRY Wests Tigers
It's one of the Tigers' favourite play.A second man play and former Bulldog Jamaal Lolesi dives over in the corner to get the Tigers back in it.
Prince hooks the conversion from the sideline.
Halftme - The Storm have shown premiership form once again throughout this clash but the Tigers are not going away scoring a deserved try on half time.They have shown glimpses of 2005 with the ball in hand.
Second half underway
45 min: PENALTY GOAL Melbourne Storm
A penalty to the Storm from right infront as Shane Elford picks up the ball in an offside position,and Cameron Smith slots the points to get them out to a 14 point lead.
51 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Inglis just maybe puts the game beyond doubt as a long cut out pass from Scott Hill hits him on the chest as Inglis goes over to score in the corner.
Smith from the sideline converts it again.
56 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Steve Turner grabs a double as Billy the kid puts in a short grubber kick in and Turner is there to score in the corner.
Smith from the sideline once again converts!
61 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
A hattrick for Webster as he dives over in the corner to put the icing on the cake with 20 to go.
Smith again from the sideline!
66 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
It's 4 for Jake Webster as the Tigers self destruct.Some quick hands on the eastern touchline finishes it off from the last pass by Geyer.
Smith from the sideline hooks this one.
72 min: Brett White has cleaned up Lolesi late and high and could well be a send off offence.
72 min: ON REPORT - Brett White is on report for the tackle and could be in trouble when the match is reviewed.
80 min: TRY Melbourne Storm
Geyer caps off a great night for the Storm scoring next to the posts to just about seal the Minor Premiership.
Inglis converts with Smith off the field.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Jake Webster
2 - Scott Hill
1 - Cameron Smith