Full Time
7:35pm Sat March 12, 2022
Round 1 - CommBank Stadium, Parramatta - Crowd: 10025

Match Overview

It was a first round win for the Storm, but it came at a huge cost, with key players Brandon Smith, Christian Welch and George Jennings all sustaining injuries in a 26-16 triumph over Wests Tigers.

Perhaps Brandon Smith going down 3 minutes into the contest was an omen for things to come, but despite all the injuries, the Storm were still able to rally from what was at one point a 10 point deficit with half an hour to go to come back and win by 10 points themselves.

The Tigers attack looked about 10 times better than some of what they dished up in 2021, with the joint venture getting on the board in just the 7th minute. The momentum was too much for the Storm to overcome, as Kelma Tuilagi got an offload away to Luke Brooks, who did well to throw an over-the-head pass to Gildart, who swung it to Maumalo who went over untouched to give the Tigers the early lead. 

The Storm were able to hit right back just 5 minutes later however, getting into good field position and creating an overlap with ease that George Jennings found himself on the end of, himself going over untouched. The score remained 4-4 as both Brooks and Meaney had rough nights with the boot. 

Both sides went set for set for a period of time, the Storm were the first to blink and gave away a piggybacking penalty in the 18th minute. Meaney had an opportunity to put the Storm ahead minutes later but his penalty goal was no good. 

The Tigers took the lead back in the 32nd minute courtesy of a brilliant sweeping play that saw Laurie insert himself into the line and find Nofoaluma with a crisp cutout pass that he did well to finish. A penalty right on halftime in front of the posts made it 10-4 at the break in favour of the hosts. 

The Tigers started the 2nd half right how they'd been playing in the first, with Brooks putting in a pinpoint kick to find Ken Maumalo, who picked the pocket of Reimis Smith to score the Tigers third and his second. 

The Storm again responded with a try of their own, again exposing the weak edge defence of the Tigers through Trent Loiero, who dummied his way over the line. The Tigers kicked another penalty goal to make it a converted try the difference, but the Storm tied things up 5 minutes later courtesy of some individual brilliance from Jahrome Hughes. 

From there, it was all the Storm. They grabbed their first lead of the night in the 67th minute after a line break from Hughes lead to Xavier Coates getting his first try as a member of the Storm. Meaney missed the conversion, and then the penalty goal moments later to give the Tigers some hope, but Daine Laurie knocked on coming out of his own end and the Storm scored through Smith on the ensuing possession, creating the final score of 26-16. 

Next week, the Storm take on the Rabbitohs on Thursday Night at AAMI Park - their first game back home in 316 days - while the Tigers will take on the Knights away on Sunday Afternoon.

3. Jahrome Hughes

2. Ken Maumalo

1. Ryan Papenhuyzen