Full Time
7:35pm Sat March 16, 2024
Round 2 - AAMI Park, Melbourne / Wurundjeri - Crowd: 21927

Match Overview

A game that will go down in NRL history forever has seen Xavier Coates turn into superman to dive and miraculously score the match winner in the final 10 seconds as Melbourne took a 30-26 win from the New Zealand Warriors.

Things started much better than last week for the Storm who were able to score inside five minutes when Will Warbrick was able to outjump Marcelo Montoya and get the ball down.

The Warriors were able to level things up soon after when Xavier Coates was left isolated in defence and meant that DWZ got space on the outside and scored when he was able to bring the ball around.

Jahrome Hughes was controlling the show and Ryan Papenhuyzen was at his attractive best when the two combined to put Nick Meaney into space from deep in their own end to score and reestablish the lead for Melbourne.

Nick Meaney extended Melbourne's lead with a penalty goal just after 20 minutes before Ryan Papenhuyzen showed why he is one of the most attractive footballers to watch when he just sliced through the Warriors defence coming back on the angle.

The Warriors were denied just after the half hour mark when Marcelo Montoya was initially awarded a try on-field but overturned when the Bunker correctly ruled that Montoya was short of the line and then put his foot over the touch ingoal line.

Needing to turn things around in the second half, the Warriors did just that as DWZ was able to isolate the defence of the Storm again and scored in the corner. The visitors continued with their momentum as luck began to go their way as Jackson Ford got close to the line but was initially denied by the referee before after a long check of replays, the green lights were shown as Ford held the ball and got it to the line.

Things were completely derailed for Melbourne as referee Chris Butler brought out a rarely seen and enforced rule when Harry Grant was penalised for deliberately passing the ball into a tackler on the ground out of dummy half. A second penalty goal pushed the Warriors lead after Ryan Papenhuyzen was penalised for a strip after he himself had the ball stripped 1-on-1.

Melbourne needed something special in the last two minutes and it was Ryan Papenhuyzen who started it as a pass back on the inside from Eli Katoa to the Melbourne fullback who went through to score.

Inside the final minute, a charged down two point field goal gave the Storm a big attacking chance in the final few minutes and Xavier Coates did the unthinkable as he flew in the air for what seemed to be an eternity for a long range aerial try and he just got it down inside the corner for an unlikely 30-26 win after the Meaney conversion.

Next weekend, the Storm head to Newcastle to keep their perfect start going with a Sunday night battle meanwhile the Warriors will want to get their first win when in Christchurch they take on the Raiders on Friday night.

3. Ryan Papenhuyzen

Brilliant game from the Melbourne fullback with two tries

2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

Looked dangerous with every carry and picked up 2 tries

1. Jahrome Hughes

Controlled the first half and had a big impact on the winning plays.