SQUADS: Betfred Super League - 2020 Round 17
11 hours ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
The Melbourne Storm have secured their fourth grand final appearance in five years after defeating the Canberra Raiders 30-10 in the first preliminary final.
Producing one of the most dominant openings to a big game in recent memory, the Storm posted three tries in the first ten minutes to blow the Raiders off the park in a match played before 37,112 supporters at Suncorp Stadium.
Set to take on the winner of tomorrow's preliminary final between Penrith and South Sydney in the premiership decider, centre Brenko Lee may be in trouble after being placed on report for a high tackle midway through the second half.
Opening the scoring through Jesse Bromwich (5th minute) following a short ball from Jahrome Hughes close to the line, a break from Josh Addo-Carr off the kick-off allowed Ryan Papenhuyzen (7th minute) to touch down for his tenth try of the season.
Effectively securing the result with a remarkable effort finished off by rugby-bound flyer Suliasi Vunivalu (9th minute), a Cameron Smith penalty goal was quickly followed by a fourth try to Justin Olam (23rd minute) to put the Storm up 24-0 in equal time.
Managing to stem the avalanche of points with a George Williams cross-field kick finished off by Nick Cotric (30th minute), the try proved to be little consolation for the Raiders in a horror first half showing.
With both sides exchanging sets for much of the second half, returning forward Dale Finucane (62nd minute) marked his 200th NRL appearance with a well-deserved try.
Rounding out his time at the Raiders with a late four-pointer, Cotric (72nd minute) bagged his second to see the result finish 30-10 in favour of the Storm.
The match also served as the final appearance in the NRL for John Bateman who will return to Wigan in 2021 after two years at the Raiders.
Next Sunday, Melbourne take on the winner between Penrith and South Sydney in the NRL Grand Final.
Melbourne Storm 30 - Canberra Raiders 10
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 24 Canberra Raiders 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jahrome Hughes
2 points - Cameron Smith
1 points - Christian Welch
MELBOURNE STORM (30)
Tries: Jesse Bromwich, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Suliasi Vunivalu, Justin Olam, Dale Finucane
Conversions: Cameron Smith (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)
CANBERRA RAIDERS (10)
Tries: Nick Cotric (2)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/2)