A late Storm surge holds off a determined Dogs revival

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Melbourne Storm v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

A late Shawn Blore try with under five to play has managed to get the Storm over the line by 16-14, holding off a brave Bulldogs fightback at AAMI Park.

Canterbury started how they finished against the Roosters last week with some silly errors inviting Melbourne to camp down their end. Ryan Papenhuzyen imposed himself after just three minutes, beating some sloppy outside defence to cross for the try. Despite the Bunker being called upon, it took Grant Atkins one look to overturn the on-field decision of no-try. Melbourne were losing troops with Tui Kamikamica injured in the opening 5 minutes, while his replacement Alec MacDonald left with a HIA midway through the first half (which he passed).

Despite Canterbury working into the contest and chances coming which included Bronson Xerri finding open space, they were unable to cross the stripe in the opening quarter hour. Melbourne capitalised on the lack of attacking execution up the other end with another miraculous try assist by Xavier Coates.

A clever cross field kick was marked by Xavier Coates. Despite Jacob Kiraz doing all he could, Coates somehow got the boot to it and it was miscued by Drew Hutchison and Reimis Smith was urgent and got to the ball to ground it for a 10-0 lead after 24 minutes. Despite both sides looking promising throughout the remainder of the half including a Matt Burton chip to Josh Addo-Carr which saw the flyer tackled by Papenhyuzyen. The Storm fullback was put on report for an alleged hip-drop tackle on the Fox, and the scores would remain the same at the change of ends.

After Connor Tracey and Jacob Kiraz completed a Houdini act to escape from the in-goal. The Dogs exposed the lack of defensive numbers of the Storm which allowed Xerri and Addo-Carr to combine. The Fox sprinted the best part of 50 metres to score untouched for the Dogs opening try of the second half. Burton added the extras for the gap to be reduced to four.

Canterbury were looking for fire in defence but unfortunately, Sam Hughes' lowered the elbow into Christian Welch's face and was sin-binned. Fortunately, the Bulldogs held firm and forced an error from Melbourne's attacking set. Melbourne were also reduced to 12 moments later when Papenhuyzen was binned for a professional foul on Stephen Crichton.

Canterbury quickly struck back when it was 12 v 12. Xerri again showcased magnificent skill to get a pass away to Addo-Carr who crossed for his second try to level the scores at 10-10. Canterbury were gutting the Storm's right edge apart with linebreaks galore through the second half.  Burton delivered a majestic pass to Addo-Carr who crossed for his hattrick within 14 minutes (of game time).

With time running out and Canterbury failing to put away their opposition. Melbourne continued their tradition of scaring the pants off their home fans. Papenhuyzen and Hughes combined nicely to break through the middle third. Munster demanded the ball off the next set and found a crashing Shawn Blore who crossed inside the last five. Meaney added the conversion to lead with limited time left. Despite a late scare, the Storm hung on for a tough and tenacious victory. The match was very well handled by debutant Wyatt Raymond who deserves an amazing amount of praise for his effort tonight in his maiden game.

Melbourne Storm 16 - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne / Wurundjeri
Crowd: 16065
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 10 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Addo-Carr
2 points - Xavier Coates
1 points - Bronson Xerri

Tries: Ryan Papenhuyzen, Reimis Smith, Shawn Blore
Conversions: Nick Meaney (2/3)

Tries: Josh Addo-Carr (3)
Conversions: Matt Burton (1/3)

See how it happened in our Match Centre