Wounded Warriors register Fabulous Five

The New Zealand Warriors have registered their fifth-successive victory since 2003 with a gritty 13-6 victory over the Melbourne Storm in a torrid, at times niggly, affair tonight at Mt Smart Stadium.

The Warriors opened the scoring in just the fifth minute when James Maloney successfully landed a penalty goal after the Storm were penalised for having hands in the play-the-ball. Several minutes later, winger Manu Vatuvei extended the lead when he crossed out wide. Maloney hoisted a bomb which was knocked back and the ball was subsequently shifted to the Warriors left hand side where Vatuvei outpaced Storm halfback Cooper Cronk to the corner. In the 15th minute, Jerome Ropati scored the Warriors second try, after again taking advantage of a bat-back from a bomb. Hooker Aaron Heremaia darted out of dummy half, and kicked to Vatuvei who knocked the ball back to Ropati who then dived over in the corner. The 12-0 scoreline would remain that way until halftime, despite the match threatening to boil over with both teams giving as good as they got in terms of niggle. In the 27th minute, several Storm players lifted Warriors winger Vatuvei off the ground and despite them gently letting him go, may come under scrutiny from the match-review committee. The half came to an enterprising finish when the Storm kicked from the first tackle off the scrum through Cameron Smith who looked for Billy Slater.

The second half was a torrid affair with only one try coming from the entire 40 minutes. Storm fullback Billy Slater gave the Melbournians a glimmer of hope when he dived over from dummy half in the 57th minute. For the second successive week, the Warriors defence refused to concede points as the Storm threw everything at them for the remaining 23 minutes as they attempted to draw level and register an unlikely victory. Both teams began to niggle at each other as the match drew to a close, and Warriors five-eighth James Maloney secured the two competition points with a 77th minute field goal. After full-time, Maloney attempted a penalty goal, which subsequently crossed the face of the posts, giving the final score of 13-6 to the Warriors.

Next week, the Warriors travel to ANZ Stadium to tackle the Rabbitohs, while the Storm will tackle the Panthers next Saturday night at AAMI Park.

They have a few injury concerns to halfback Brett Seymour who copped a headknock and Lance Hohaia who got hurt.

Match Details
New Zealand Warriors 13 defeated Melbourne Storm 6
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 19 - Saturday July 17, 2010 5:30pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Steve Lyons and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Adam Gee
Crowd: 13,118
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 12 Melbourne Storm 0

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - James Maloney (1 Conversion, 1 Penalty Goal, 1 Field Goal)
2 Points - Manu Vatuvei (1 Try)
1 Point - Lance Hohaia

Tries: Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei
Field Goals: James Maloney (1/2)
Conversions: James Maloney (1/2)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/3)

Tries: Billy Slater
Conversions: Cameron Smith (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary And a very good afternoon and welcome to Mt Smart Stadium here in New Zealand for this afternoon's encounter between the Warriors and Storm. In a tumultuous week for the Melbourne side, they will line up and the match will go ahead, despite rumours circulating yesterday that they were to boycott the remainder of the season.
Still awaiting confirmation of both sides, but once news filters through, we will have it for you here on LeagueUnlimited. Stay tuned.
In the Toyota Cup, the Warriors have run out victors over the Storm 24-12.
In team news, the Warriors are as per program, with Sione Lousi dropping off the bench. Dane Nielsen has been ruled out for the Storm and he will be replaced by Justin O'Neill. Aidan Tolman comes into the run-on side and Brian Norrie drops back to the bench. Ryan Hinchcliffe drops out of the side altogether and is replaced on the interchange bench by Ryan Hoffman.
A big crowd has turned up this evening to see this encounter and we're underway. The Warriors will have first use of the ball, defending the southern end of Mt Smart.
1 min: The Warriors successfully complete their first set of six, but Maloney's kick sails over the deadball line.
2 min: PENALTY Warriors. Storm inside the 10.
3 min: Knock on Storm. Early chance for the Warriors here as they feed a scrum 10m out from the Storm line.
4 min: PENALTY Warriors. Blair penalised for dropping a knee in the tackle. The Warriors will have a shot at penalty goal here.
PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney successful.
Maloney gets the Warriors underway this evening with a successful penalty goal.
New Zealand Warriors 2-0
6 min: The Warriors have knocked the rolling ball on from the kick-off and the Storm will get their first chance to register points.
6 min: The Storm have subsequently knocked the ball on on the first tackle and the Warriors breathe a huge sigh of relief.
9 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
Manu Vatuvei scores the first try of the night after the Warriors knocked back a perfectly weighted bomb from Maloney. The Warriors then shifted the ball to the left hand side where Vatuvei outpaced Cronk to the corner. Maloney's conversion from the sideline hits the post and bounces back into the field of play.
New Zealand Warriors 6-0
10 min: Knock on Warriors. The Warriors have again knocked the ball on after scoring points and the Storm will again go on an attacking raid into Warriors territory.
12 min: The Warriors defence has held firm, despite the Storm offering minimal questions in attack.
13 min: Cronk and Slater attempt to join forces with a mid-field chip and chase, but fortunately for the Warriors, Slater was not able to get the bounce.
14 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Warriors try. Checking on-side, challenge and grounding.
15 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Jerome Ropati. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
Ropati scores the Warriors second try of the night. Heremaia darted out of dummy half, put up a pinpoint kick to the wing of Vatuvei, who knocked the ball back into the arms of Ropati who dived over.
New Zealand Warriors 12-0
16 min: Maloney's kick dribbles into touch in the north-western corner of Mt Smart and the Storm will now have to work the ball off their own line.
18 min: Cronk's bizarre cross-field kick toward's Duffie's wing has rolled into touch.
20 min: Seymour's bomb towards the posts has been successfully defused by Inglis.
20 min: Cronk has put a near-perfect kick to the end of the set for the Storm. No doubt this was the Storm's best set with the ball tonight so far.
23 min: Knock on Warriors. Matulino has knocked the ball on on the halfway line and the Storm will get another rare opportunity to register their first points for the match, despite only having around 35% of the ball thus far.
24 min: Some enterprising play from the Storm has registered the first goal-line dropout of the night. Slater chimed into the backline as they went through their usual second-man play, grubbering into the in-goal which was kicked dead by Hohaia.
25 min: PENALTY Storm. Warriors penalised for having the hand in the play-the-ball.
26 min: Sika Manu has knocked the ball on on just the second tackle, despite heavy attention from Warriors winger Kevin Locke.
27 min: PENALTY Warriors. Storm penalised for a lifting tackle on Manu Vatuvei, which may come under scrutiny from the match-review committee.
29 min: Maloney has grubbered over the dead-ball line on the fifth tackle. Perhaps a case of justice, after it appeared Hohaia knocked on in the tackle before.
30 min: PENALTY Warriors. Storm penalised for kicking the ball away in the play-the-ball.
32 min: PENALTY Storm. Warriors penalised for obstruction. This was after a try-saver from Billy Slater.
33 min: PENALTY Storm. Billy Slater has been taken out as he chased through a kick. The Storm go on the attack yet again.
35 min: Some great defence from the Warriors yet again has repelled the Storm.
37 min: The Storm have crossed out wide, but it has been called back correctly for a forward pass from Inglis on the outside to O'Neill. In backplay, Seymour is requiring attention after getting his head in the wrong spot attempting a front-on tackle and is being helped from the field.
38 min: The Warriors scrambling defence has thrown Duffie into touch as he appeared certain to score out wide. The Storm are now offering plenty of questions in attack, but the Warriors defence to date, refuses to buckle.
40 min: Halftime here at Mt Smart Stadium where the Warriors lead the Storm 12-0. The Storm are not out of this match by any means, but the Warriors defence keeps on repelling them.
41 min: And the second half is underway here at Mt Smart. The Storm will look to score first and close to within a converted try, while if the Warriors are to score first, would just about mean game over.
41 min: Knock-on Storm. Lima has dropped the ball on just the second tackle of the half, gifting the Warriors a great opportunity to extend their lead further.
43 min: The Warriors have been bundled into touch through Ropati on the fourth tackle. Good defence by the Storm, but some hap-hazard attack by the Warriors.
44 min: PENALTY Storm. Cronk tackled late after kicking and the Storm will go on the attack.
45 min: Inglis has dropped the ball over the line! Finch went on a scything run that almost went through the Warriors defence, offloaded to Inglis and just as he was about to catch the pass, had his arms knocked, causing him to drop the ball with the line open.
50 min: Both teams continue to complete their sets and the game goes to and fro from end to end, but now the Storm have dropped the ball, giving the Warriors another opportunity to go further in front.
52 min: Hohaia dribbles a grubber into the in-goal which is deflected by Inglis, wrongfooting Slater. Luckily for the Storm, Inglis got back in time to knock the ball over the dead-ball line.
53 min: Tate has had the ball taken off him as he appeared certain to score! The Storm now work the ball downfield, but through Norrie knock the ball on. The referees have now given the ball back to Norrie as he was knocked out while attempting to play-the-ball.
55 min: PENALTY Warriors. The Storm have been penalised for back-chatting through Cronk.
55 min: From the ensuing set of six, the Warriors have dropped the ball again and the Storm go on the attack again.
57 min: TRY
TRY Melbourne Storm
Scored by Billy Slater. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Finally the Storm get on the board through Slater. The fullback took advantage of a quick play-the-ball, scooped up the ball from dummy half and dived over alongside the posts.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
59 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try. Checking on-side and grounding.
59 min: No Try. Cronk is penalised for being a fraction off-side. There would have only been a metre in it, but video referee Bill Harrigan has got this one right.
61 min: PENALTY Warriors. Luck taken out off the ball by Lowrie and they will look to extend their lead via a penalty goal.
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
Maloney has hooked the ball to the left of the posts and the Warriors keep their 6-point lead.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
63 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Warriors try. Checking grounding.
63 min: No Try. Brown is ruled to have knocked the ball on while grounding it a fraction in from the deadball line.
71 min: The Storm are throwing everything at the Warriors, but the Warriors continue to hang on.
72 min: PENALTY Storm. Warriors offside. Here is the Storm's chance to send the game into golden point!
73 min: Knock on Warriors. The Storm get a repeat set here, despite having the ball knocked on by Proctor from the previous play-the-ball.
74 min: The Warriors would say justice has prevailed when the Storm knock the ball on. The Warriors will work the ball away from their own line.
Field goal attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
Maloney has had a long-range attempt at field-goal claimed by Slater in the in-goal.
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
77 min: FIELD GOAL
FIELD GOAL New Zealand Warriors
Field goal attempt by James Maloney successful.
Maloney has landed a 30 metre field goal to secure the two-competition points for the Warriors!
New Zealand Warriors 13-6
80 min: PENALTY Warriors. Storm penalised for late challenge on Maloney after his clearing kick downfield.
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
New Zealand Warriors 13-6

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