3 days ago
Fulltime score: Round 2 Storm 46 39 v Dragons 12
Match summary: The Melbourne Storm have romped over the top of St George Illawarra, defeating the Dragons by 46-12 at WIN Stadium tonight.
For the second weekend running, the Storm has passed the 40 point mark, posting 94 points in two matches. By comparison, Dragons' coach Nathan Brown is coming to terms with the unenviable record of his team conceding 92 points over the same period.
The Storm came out in the first half, controlling the ruck with quick offloads and coming up quickly in defence. After 16 minutes, the visitors held a 16-nil lead and at one stage, were enjoying 80% of the possession.
At the other end of the park, the Dragons often looked like reserve graders as they were out-muscled and out-enthused by a sharper looking Melbourne outfit.
Full back Billy Slater continues to show sensational form as he combined with centre Matt King and half back Matt Orford, the Storm trio carving up their opponents.
At half time, it was 24-0 and Melbourne looked unbeatable
The Dragons mounted a brief charge early in the second half. But any hint of a comeback was short-lived with Matt Orford dominating proceedings, the Storm running in eight tries to two.
Scorers: DRAGONS 12 Tries: Young, Best Goals: Head 2/2 STORM 46 Tries: Orford 2, Bell 2, Kearns, Slater, King, Smith Goals: Orford 4/5, Smith 3/4
WIN Stadium Crowd: 9,032 Referee: Tony Archer
By the clock: Melbourne Storm has stuck with the winning side form the previous week while the St George Illawarra Dragons will be hoping to make up for a disappointing round one showing. Dragons have named Shaun Timmins at five eighth. The breeze to favour Melbourne Storm in the first half. Dragons to kick off...
0 min: Kick off!
3 min: TRY - Storm. Robbie Kearns scores next to posts. Follows an attempted charge down on half way from the Dragons with picked by the Storm in open space. Dragons unable to recover as the Storm made 50 metres in the next two rucks. Matt Orford conversion is OK. Storm 6-0
7 min: TRY - Storm. Billy Slater scores next to posts after taking a top class pass from Scott Hill up the middle of the ruck and close out. Conversion Orford. Another horror start for the Dragons. Storm 12-0
10 min: NEWS - Rain falling. Melbourne Storm enjoying 80% possession.
16 min: TRY - Storm. Matt King scores in the corner. Follows beaut inside pass from Orford to Slater from 20m out. Slater into space finds an unmarked King on the left flank. Conversion from Orford is unsuccessful. Storm 16-0
20 min: NEWS - Michael Ennis (Dragons) on report for a high tackle on Ryan Hoffman (Storm), who is assisted from the field.
23 min: PENALTY GOAL - Storm. Cameron Smith makes no mistake from in front. Follows a penalty for a late flop. Not much in it. Storm 18-0
27 min: NEWS - Saints get back-to-back penalties in front of the sticks as second ref Gavin Badger pins the Storm for a taking out a support player, and then for stripping the ball. A bit of dust-up follows between the players. Dragons go for the tap and then lose the ball.
32 min: NEWS - Excellent Storm defence being a dominant feature of the match as they still enjoy 61% possession. Saints come close to scoring from the scrum base with the last pass from Ben Hornby to Matt Cooper not sticking.
35 min: TRY - Storm. Orford scores 12m in from touch. Fortune favours the brave as the Storm throw the ball around and manage to hang on in slippery conditions. Eventually fullback Hornby is faced with numerous attackers coming at him, Orford dummies and crosses over. Orford converts, posting his 300th career goal. Storm 24-0
HALF TIME: A long walk to the sheds for the Dragons as they booed from the field. Storm showing great confidence in each other as they have been backing up and rushing up quick in defence. Orford, Slater and King all shining on the back of some tremendous forward play. The Storm don't have to do anything different and should come away with a big victory. It seems that only complacency will go against them.
Saints are trying hard but are failing to stop the offloads and are allowing the Storm to dominate possession (62%). Saints are also showing a lack of ball control at crucial moments. In addition, the Dragons' kicking game is not up to scratch as often find the opposing backs on the full. Whether or not they can come back in the second half remains to be seen, but at this stage, its hard predict anything other than a Melbourne victory. Storm 24-0
Second half underway...
44 min: TRY - Dragons. Dean Young scores next to posts as Dragons get a roll on early in second half. Conversion Mathew Head. Storm 24-6
49 min: NO TRY - Storm denied. Orford unable to get the ball down cleanly over the line, losing it forward.
52 min: NEWS - Storm come within a whisker of scoring. A clever grubber ahead from Orford turns the defence around. Dragons' winger Reece Simmonds defuses the situation but Storm will attack again.
53 min: TRY - Storm. Cameron Smith scores under the posts on the back of a repeat set. Conversion Orford. Storm 30-6
56 min: NEWS - the boys getting a bit flustered as the second and third punchup of the night occur. Both sides into it and plenty of niggle happening, but Storm get the penalties.
62 min: TRY - Storm. Orford gets a double and caps off a great night, intercepting and running 55 metres to score under the posts. Conversion Smith. Storm 36-6
64 min: TRY - Storm Centre Steven Bell with plenty of room to move gets around the defence and scorers in good position. Conversion from Smith is spot on. It?s turning into a carve-up. Storm 42-6
67 min: TRY - Dragons. Colin Best scores in the corner, getting the nod from the video ref after the defender takes out the corner post. A ripper of kick from Head adds the extras. Storm 42-12
79 min: TRY - Storm. Bell gets a double as the Storm finish in fine style. A simple matter of draw and pass and showing too much class. Wide-ish conversion from Smith hits the upright and is waved away. Storm 46-12
FULL TIME: For the second week running, the Storm have score 40 or more points while the Dragons have had 40 or more points put on them for the second week running. The Dragons have a ton of work to do, especially with the ball control and defence close to the ruck. Melbourne never looked like being stretched. Just too much class up the back and too much muscle up front. Orford, Slater and King revelling in the conditions.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - B Slater (Storm) 1 - M King (Storm) -----------------------------------------