The Melbourne Storm have given the North Queensland Cowboys their second single point loss in a row after taken a 7-6 victory in an end to end game at 1300 Smiles Stadium in Townsville.
The Melbourne Storm were looking to bounce back from a humbling defeat last weekend to the Manly Sea Eagles, the first chance though went to the Cowboys after Cameron Smith elected to go with a short kick off to start the game. The Cowboys couldn't take advantage of their early good field position which included Johnathan Thurston missing a mid-range penalty goal from just next to the uprights.
The Cowboys had the next few chances which included Gavin Cooper losing the ball over the line chasing through a Jake Granville kick at the 12 minute mark. The Storm then began to mount the pressure making good metres in possession but like the Cowboys they struggled to put any points on the board and theirstruggles with the ball were proven when they wasted a set of six attacking one spot in the Cowboys defensive line.
The Storm put plenty of pressure on the Cowboys line and they withstood the Raiders attack until Cameron Smith found a soft spot in the Cowboys defence to burrow in over the line and get the only try of the first half. The Cowboys again got a chance to attack but couldn't get over the line although things weren't good for the Storm with Sam Kasiano put on report for a very late shot in the back of Johnathan Thurston.
The second half started the same way as the first half started with plenty of end to end play and the first points came off the boot of Cameron Smith when he knocked over a penalty goal after Ben Hampton gave away a ruck penalty.
The Cowboys then levelled things up soon after when Johnathan Thurston took a run on last tackle attracting the defence and finding Te Maire Martin who's kick was taken by Kyle Feldt who twisted his way to the goalline to score in the corner and left Thurston a sideline conversion to level it up which he nailed. Both sides then went end to end but couldn't add another try with the last ditch efforts on the line from the Cowboys and Storm defence respectively keeping their opponents from getting over the line. The Storm will again have another nervous wait with Felise Kaufusi joining Sam Kasiano on report when he was reported for dangerous contact on the legs of Matt Scott.
As the game headed into the last 10 minutes, the Cowboys had the perfect chance to set up for an early one pointer after Dale Finucaine was penalised for a strip, However it was the Storm who got into field goal range after Michael Morgan failed to find touch off the kick for line after the penalty. The kick for touch not going out came back to hurt the Cowboys when Cameron Munster set for a field goal and nailed it despite having to pick the ball up off his ankles.
Michael Morgan soon looked to have turned from villian to hero when he cleaned up his own missed field goal shot and went through untouched to score a try only to have it ruled No Try by Matt Cecchin on the field and Steve Chiddy in the bunker who ruled an obstruction. The Cowboys had one last shot at field goal but couldn't get it through and the Melbourne Storm took the victory by a point.