The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Despite losing Junior Langi with a quadriceps strain minutes before the match Melbourne ended Canberra?s eight-game winning streak comfortably thanks to some bone crunching defence and smart attacking play.
?I thought everybody right across the board defended really well tonight and that paved the way for a very good win,? Storm captain Stephen Kearney said.
Led by dynamic halfback Matt Orford and veteran forwards Robbie Kearns and Kearney, the Storm looked far more potent when going forward and constantly forced the Raiders into handling errors.
?The thrill for me tonight is just how our guys performed and getting a win like that against the undefeated competition leaders,? Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.
?They (Canberra) have gone eight rounds and haven?t been beaten until tonight so they must be doing something right and they?ve been playing really well, so for our guys to come out tonight and win like that is the most pleasing thing for me.?
Bellamy was delighted with his team?s efforts in light of the club?s long list of injuries ? made even worse throughout the week. ?I was really proud of what the guys did tonight, some obstacles have been put in front of us but they keep coming through,? Bellamy added.
?We lost Robbie Ross during the week for maybe the year, we lost Rodney Howe for the year and all of a sudden we lose someone in a warm-up, things just keep getting thrown in front of our players. But they just keep coming through and keep turning up ready to play.?
Despite letting in the first try of the match after just six minutes, Melbourne assumed control in the first half thanks to tries to Peter Robinson and Matt Geyer as well as two penalty goals from Orford.
After leading 16-10 at the main break Melbourne upped the ante in what was a mistake-riddled second half.
The Storm?s stringent defence caused the Raiders to cough up plenty of ball and when Kirk Reynoldson crossed after some clean skills by Kearney, the Storm were home for their second win in as many weeks.
Try scoring centre Steven Bell finished off Canberra?s miserable night when he touched down in the 78th minute ? his fifth in three games - and when Orford converted his seventh straight goal kick the match was over.
Storm winger Marcus Bai will be assessed throughout the week after suffering a quadriceps strain during the match and similarly Langi will be evaluated with the same injury.
STORM 30 Tries: Robinson 1, Geyer 1, Reynoldson 1, Bell 1 Goals: Orford 7/7 (3 pen goals)
RAIDERS 10 Tries: Monaghan 1, Crocker 1 Goals: Shifcofske 1/2
For further information contact
James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]