Full Time
7:50pm Thu April 18, 2024
Round 7 - Allianz Stadium, Moore Park / Gadigal - Crowd: 17714

Match Overview

The Storm have cemented their place at the top of the NRL ladder with an 18-12 win on the road against the Roosters.

You can't power defibrillators without electricity, and the Storm are continuing to live up to their name with another close win - this time downing the Roosters 18-12.

The game started at a frantic pace, with the Roosters showing their gameplan of targeting Melbourne's wings with high kicks while the Storm struggled to build momentum. But that changed when Jahrome Hughes put up a bomb which was knocked back by William Warbrick before Eliesa Katoa found Hughes backing up on the inside to get over the line. The Storm almost had back to back tries, but Lindsay Collins managed to knock down a Nick Meaney pass that could have sent Warbrick over.

The try saver swung momentum, and the Roosters struck soon after when Warbrick failed to defuse a Luke Keary bomb and the bounching ball beat Nick Meaney to be grounded by Michael Jennings. Both teams made mistakes in the next ten minutes, but the Storm would hit the front when a Cameron Munster bomb was caught by Katoa who managed to get the ball to the ground. There were suggestions Nelson Asofa-Solomona had tried to maul the ball across the line but the Bunker did not intervene and Melbourne would go into halftime with a 12-6 lead.

The second period started a lot slower, and the game was almost begging for someone to break it open. It looked like it would be after 55 minutes when the Roosters get a 20 metre restart, and while the Storm players remonstrated over a hit on Hughes, Cameron Munster grabbed James Tedesco and as a result was sent for a 10 minute spell. But despite the 13 on 12 advantage, the Chooks couldn't take advantage.

That was until Munster returned to make the teams even again, when a Keary bomb was batted back by Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii into the chest of Joseph Manu who finished in the corner. As he had for his first 21 attempts at Allianz Stadium, Suaalii converted the try to bring the game back to 12-12.

But cometh the hour, cometh the man, and as he has all season Xavier Coates found himself in the right place at the right time to win the game for Melbourne. This time Hughes put up a bomb which was dropped by Manu, then picked up by Harry Grant who grubbered over to his winger with plenty of work left to do. Coates was tackled by a gang of Roosters but still got the ball down to give the Storm the 18-12 lead they would ultimately hold onto.

While questions will obviously continue to be asked about how sustainable their start to the season has been, the reality is the Storm have gotten through a quarter of the season with a 5-1 record. That's even without Munster at his 100% damaging best. Hughes has been excellent and was again in this one, and Papenhuyzen continues to bounce back from his horror injury history.

The Roosters meanwhile have dropped to 3-4 and while injuries have certainly played a part, there are questions that need to be asked as to why they are losing these types of matches. Sam Walker coming back next week should be helpful, however it's not a magic sponge for this wounded side.

3. Jahrome Hughes

At his brilliant playmaking best - kicking game led to two tries (one of which was scored by himself) and he constantly attacked the Roosters line.

2. Victor Radley

Absolutely tried his guts out - running for 175 metres and making 37 tackles.

1. Xavier Coates

Won them the match again with an incredible solo effort. Was also great coming out of yardage