A 77th minute field goal to Brodie Croft has seen the Melbourne Storm pull off a great escape on ANZAC Day to defeat the New Zealand Warriors, 13-12, at AAMI Park in front of 21,539 fans.
Extending their dominance in ANZAC Day fixtures to seven wins from ten clashes, the Storm were below their best but managed to step up in the championship moments against a Warriors team given little hope before kick-off.
Coming into the match minus a number of key players, including captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and halfback Blake Green, the Warriors showed no signs of adversity to post first points via a Chanel Harris-Tavita penalty goal after five minutes.
Facing off against the team that started their NRL careers, Tohu Harris - starting at halfback - delivered a sublime pass to send Adam Blair over for the opening try in the eighth minute to give the visitors the perfect start to the match.
Cruelled by poor ball handling and the physical toll of last Friday's epic clash with the Roosters, Melbourne managed to steady proceedings in the 23rd minute when Cameron Munster supported his own kick to touch down on the left edge after a well-placed bat-back from Josh Addo-Carr.
With neither side able to add to the scoreboard before the change of ends, the Warriors 8-4 halftime advantage was short-lived with Cameron Smith showing tremendous vision to send Jahrome Hughes over in the 42nd minute to give the home side a 10-8 lead.
Hitting back through Ken Maumalo in the 47th minute, despite confusion in the lead-up over a repeat set, the Warriors showed immense class to hold a 12-10 lead until the final five minutes only for the Storm to flex their muscles.
Levelling the scores courtesy of a Cameron Munster penalty goal from in front, Croft stepped up with three minutes remaining to nail the match-winner from 35 metres out to give the Storm their sixth win of the season.
Next week Melbourne travel to Cronulla on Friday night to tackle the Sharks, while the Warriors host Newcastle on Sunday afternoon at Mt Smart Stadium.