Round 4 kicked off last night with the Sydney Roosters overcoming traditional rivals South Sydney Ra...
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Fulltime score: Round 20 Melbourne Storm 24 v Sydney Roosters 10
The Storm came firing out of the blocks with a try to Dallas Johnson inside the first 10 minutes.
Both sides were then engaged in a very tough contest with some strong defence which kept the score at just 8-0 for the majority of the first half.
Billy Slater managed to score just 30 seconds from the halftime siren, running through some fragile Roosters defence which left coach Ricky Stuart fuming at the break, with the Storm leading by 14 points to nil.
The Roosters tried everything but continuously failed to penetrate the Storm line, but were able to score against the run of play when playmaker Jamie Soward intercepted a pass from Storm Five Eighth Scott Hill to race 90 metres and score under the posts, and with the conversion successful from Craig Fitzgibbon, the Roosters kept themselves within striking distance and reduced the lead to 8 points with 22 minutes remaining.
But the Storm had just too much class. Matt King scored an unbelievable try reminiscent of a Manchester United striker, by keeping the ball in play with his feet and re-gathering the ball to score. The Storm sealed the 2 competition points with a try to David Kidwell just 9 minutes from fulltime, and led by 24 points to 6, a lead that was enough to secure victory.
Roosters centre Iosia Soliola crossed out wide on the siren to give the Roosters a consolation try, and the match finished up with the score at 24-10 in favour of the Storm.
The Melbourne side are now in with a realistic chance of a top 4 finish, confirming their status as genuine contenders for the premiership. The Roosters are now 4 points out of the top 8 and face a tough assignment next Friday night, facing an in-form Dragons outfit.
Storm v Roosters match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: MELBOURNE STORM Tries:Johnson,Slater,King,Kidwell Goals:Orford 3,Smith SYDNEY ROOSTERS Tries:Soward,Soliola Goals:Fitzgibbon
Venue: Olympic Park Referee: Tony Archer Half time: Storm 14-0
Live commentary: Welcome to this round 20 clash between The Melbourne Storm and The Sydney Roosters from Olympic Park in Melbourne. The match is crucial for both sides as the log-jam for top 8 positions intensifies. Conditions are overcast in Melbourne today.
0 min: KICKOFF!
5 min: NEWS-Both sides easing their way into this game by getting to their kick and playing for field position.
10 min: TRY-Storm Dallas Johnson burrows through the Roosters defensive line from close range to score close to the uprights. Conversion successful from Matt Orford. Storm 6-0
15 min: NEWS-Melbourne have the Roosters under siege at the moment and the Roosters have done well to hold the Storm to only a 6 point lead at this stage.
22 min: NEWS-Craig Fitzgibbon misses an easy shot at penalty goal with the vicious breeze making a major impact on this game.
27 min: PENALTY GOAL-Matt Orford kicks a penalty goal from 30 metres out directly in front with the breeze coming to his assistance. Storm 8-0
35 min: NEWS-The Roosters have had successive sets attacking the Storm line but the defence of the Storm has been very solid in holding them out.
39 min: TRY-Storm Billy Slater runs through a yawning gap in the Roosters' defensive line to score a crucial try under the posts just before halftime. Conversion successful from Matt Orford Storm 14-0
HALF TIME-A very defence dominated half of football with both sides aiming up well in that area. One gets the feeling that the Storm have just a little too much for the Roosters in both attack and defence but only time will tell. The Storm lead 14-0 at halftime.
Second half underway at Olympic Park
48 min: NEWS-The Roosters are enjoying the luxury of a strong breeze at their backs in the second half but have had 3 consecutive sets of six on the Melbourne goal-line and have still failed to come up with points.
56 min: NEWS-Jake Webster has been sent to the blood bin with a massive cut just below the eye.
58 min: TRY-Roosters Jamie Soward intercepts a pass from Scott Hill and runs 90 metres to score under the posts. Conversion successful from Craig Fitzgibbon. Storm 14-6
61 min: NO TRY-Matt King burrows over to score but Ian Donelly was ruled to have impeded the defender.
65 min: TRY-Storm An unbelievable exhibition of soccer skills from Matt King to keep a Matt Orford kick in play and re-gather the ball to score the try. Conversion unsuccessful from Matt Orford. Storm 18-6
71 min: TRY-Storm David Kidwell crosses out wide after a brilliant backline movement from the Storm. Conversion successful from Cameron Smith. Storm 24-6
78 min: TRY-Roosters Iosia Soliola scores a simple try in the corner for the Roosters. Conversion unsuccessful from Craig Fitzgibbon. Storm 24-10
FULL TIME: The Melbourne Storm have defeated the Sydney Roosters by 24 points to 10 at Olympic Park. The Storm have had just too much firepower for the Roosters and have now further confirmed their status as genuine premiership contenders. The Roosters are now in real danger of missing the 8 and their task doesn't get any easier next week when they meet a red hot Dragons outfit in Wollongong. ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - B Slater (Storm) 1 - R Kearns (Storm) -----------------------------------------