Full Time
80:00
5:30pm Sat April 10, 2021
Round 5 - Stadium Australia - Crowd: 5104

Match Overview

The Bulldogs may have shown life in attack but were thoroughly outclassed in a 52-18 loss to the Storm on Saturday night.

There were immediate signs for concern as Felise Kaufusi went over out of dummy-half, with Fox League's Braith Anasta describing it as "so painfully easy" it was "not a first-grade try."

So much has been made of the Bulldogs' woes in attack but a lack of resilience in defence is just as concerning, with the Storm running in five tries in the first half.

Jake Averillo showed the way forward when he came up with a crucial tackle on Ryan Papenhuyzen just as the Storm fullback threatened to race through the line.

It was all in vain though as the two halves Cameron Munster and Jahrome Hughes combined for a try shortly after.

Christian Welch was the next to embarrass the Bulldogs defence but the home side eventually broke their 265-minute drought without point when Luke Thompson crashed over.

It did not spark a comeback though as Tui Kamikamica and George Jennings scored before the break to make it 30-6 at halftime.

Ryan Papenhuyzen backed up his four-try heroics from the week prior to score another stunner, this time tracking down a Jennings kick early after play resumed in the second half.

It was five-eighth Jake Averillo who sparked a Bulldogs fightback though, reducing the deficit to 18 points with 20 minutes remaining.

First he put Adam Elliott charging through towards the line, with the second rower drawing in defenders and then finding Averillo back in support.

The crafty five-eighth then put a pinpoint kick in for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to score, although there were doubts over whether he was onside.

Averillo then kicked the ball out on the full but backed himself minutes later to nail a 40-20.

It did not end up leading to points though with Tui Katoa being bundled into touch shortly after.

Melbourne then exploded with two quick tries off kicks - the first from the boot of Kenneath Bromwich with Justin Olam the scorer.

Munster then put in an early kick for Josh Addo-Carr and it sat up perfectly for the speedster.

The classy five-eighth was at it again to put Papenhuyzen through and set up Nicholas Hynes for the final try of the night.

Melbourne host the Roosters next Friday night while the Bulldogs face the Cowboys on Sunday.

3. Cameron Munster

Lots of great individual performances but giving it to Munster who was a constant threat in attack, scheming through the middle and playing off Harry Grant and Brandon Smith. Finished with two try assists and two tackle busts.

2. Christian Welch

139 metres and 26 tackles - typical of the Melbourne workhorse but also a threat in attack with three offloads.

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen

George Jennings with a huge effort and Harry Grant made a big impact in his return but Papenhuyzen gets the one point. 176 running metres, six tacle busts, a try, linebreak and tireless support play through the middle, even if it didn't lead to points.