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3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Melbourne Storm have continued their impressive record in Round 1 fixtures, outlasting the Brisbane Broncos 22-12, in front of a crowd of 16, 239 at AAMI Park.
Last losing an opening round match in 2001, the Storm established a well-deserved 16-0 lead midway through the second half, before two tries from Corey Oates in the space of three minutes set up a grandstand finish. After gifting Oates his second try with a wayward offload, Kiwi prop Jesse Bromwich went from villain to hero with a late four-pointer to secure the win for the home side.
Needing just three minutes to post the opening try of the season, Jahrome Hughes, the man tasked with the responsibility of replacing Billy Slater at fullback, crashed over despite concerns of a knock-on from Kenny Bromwich in the lead up.
Extending the lead to 10-0 after Curtis Scott (13th minute) swooped on a Jack Bird error to race 55 metres to score, things appeared to be going from bad to worse for the visitors.
Losing strike centre James Roberts just minutes into the contest with a back injury, the Broncos avoided further pain on the scoreboard after Will Chambers and Felise Kaufusi were denied by the Bunker within minutes of each other.
Managing to stem the Storm's flow of points in first half, the Broncos were unable to post first points after halftime as Kenny Bromwich (47th minute) continued his surprising record of Round 1 tries. Playing in his fifth Round 1 match for the Storm, the 27-year-old New Zealand international crossed for his fourth opening round try to extend the lead to 16-0.
Finally posting points in the 60th minute after a getting the green light from the bunker, Corey Oates doubled up three minutes later after Jesse Bromwich accidentally passed to the bullocking Broncos winger, reducing the score to 16-12 to set up a grandstand finish.
Making amends for his earlier mistake, a dummy from Jesse Bromwich (67th minute) secured the win for Melbourne as they ran out 22-12 winners.
Next week, the Storm travel to Canberra to play the Raiders on Friday night, while the Broncos will host the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium later that same evening.
Melbourne Storm 22 - Brisbane Broncos 12
Venue: AAMI Park
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 10 Brisbane Broncos 0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Kenneath Bromwich
2 points - Cameron Munster
1 points - Corey Oates
MELBOURNE STORM (22)
Tries: Jahrome Hughes, Curtis Scott, Kenneath Bromwich, Jesse Bromwich
Conversions: Cameron Smith (3/4)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (12)
Tries: Corey Oates (2)
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (2/2)