Full Time
8:00pm Thu April 4, 2024
Round 5 - AAMI Park, Melbourne / Wurundjeri - Crowd: 20698

Match Overview

A magnificent array of attacking skills and open football between the Storm and Broncos produced a stunning contest with a thrilling finish, ending in a 34-32 victory to the Storm.

After a reasonably even opening 15 minutes, the Storm looked to have the upper hand, however neither team had troubled the scoreboard. Then Ezra Mam took an intercept and raced 65 metres.

On the next play, the Broncos sent the ball right to Kotoni Staggs who ran to the line, drew the final defender and then put Deine Mariner over for a try in the corner. Adam Reynolds converted superbly from the sideline.

Melbourne hit back just 3 minutes later when Eli Katoa ran hard and straight onto a pass, steamrolled through Mam and scored. Nick Meaney added the extras.

The Storm took the lead only 3 minutes later when Jahrome Hughes kicked to the left corner and found Xavier Coates flying high, caught it superbly and then fell down in the Broncos in-goal to score. Meaney failed to convert from out wide.

The Broncos responded immediately to claim the lead in the 28th minute. Arthars found some space down the left edge courtesy of a beautiful long ball from Tristan Sailor. Arthars then kicked in-field and Mam got a peach of a bounce, regathered and scored a great try. Reynolds converted.

Brisbane extended their lead to 8 points just 3 minutes later. Brisbane went right on the last, the play broke down, Mariner ran the ball back into the middle, linked with Sailor who quickly passed to Reynolds who kicked to the left corner and Arthars flying through regathered and scored. Reynolds converted from the sideline.

Melbourne reduced the deficit just shy of halftime when Hughes held up a pass before putting Katoa into a huge gap and he scored his second try. Meaney converted. At halftime the Broncos led 18-16.

The Broncos took their lead back out to 8 10 mins after play resumed after Billy Walters kicked down field, the Storm let it bounce and the ball sharply bounced back towards the Broncos end, into the waiting arms of a flying Mam who then zoomed between the back two defenders and raced 30 metres to score a spectacular try. Kotoni Staggs converted.

Melbourne's reply came in the 57th minute with a gorgeous play. Katoa got the ball on the left, turned and offloaded in the line, a-la Arthur Beetson, back to Ryan Papenhuyzen, who then sent a long ball out to William Warbrick unmarked, and he dived over for the try. Meaney converted from the sideline.

Staggs kicked a penalty goal in the 69th minute to take their lead out to 4 points.

With 6 minutes remaining in the game Tyran Wishart stormed onto a crash ball and barged over to score. Meaney converted and the Storm took the lead.

Melbourne crossed again spectacularly in the 76th minute when Hughes kicks to the left, close to the Broncos line and Coates kicks the ball on the full back infield and Hughes follows through and grounds it for a try. Meaney converts.

Within the next minute the Broncos hit back when Tyson Smoothy at dummy half on the Storm line, threw a magical pass back inside to Ben Te Kura who barged over to score. Staggs converted. The Storm hung on for the final 90 seconds of the match to win an entertaining clash by 2 points.

3. Ezra Mam

Mam had a stellar match and when Reynolds failed to return for the second half, Mam lifted his game another gear.

2. Eliesa Katoa

Katoa had a great game ono the edge, bagging two first half tries, filled in occasionally at hooker, was involved a neat play that lead to another Storm try and was defensively solid all night.

1. Jahrome Hughes

Strong, patient and controlled game by Hughes, scored the match winning try in the dying minutes of the game when the match looked lost for the Storm.