Tigers Do Double Over Storm

Image Rights - NRL.com

It was the first game of the double header at Mt Smart Stadium in New Zealand as the (3-1) Wests Tigers went up against the (2-2) Melbourne Storm. The rain was pouring down prior to the start of the match as both teams warmed up, with the sun making a lovely appearance just before kick off to brighten up the day.

Melbourne were looking to ensure that Craig Bellamy's 400th game as coach was a successful one, as well as making up for their round 2 loss at home and giving Ryan Hoffman a win on his 250th game. They would make a few changes, with Felise Kaufusi coming into the starting line and Tim Glasby starting at lock. Joe Stimson and Kenny Bromwich were both moved to the bench, with Brandon Smith making his way from the 17.

Wests Tigers were coming off a 30-20 point win against Parramatta, as well as the confidence of beating Melbourne in Melbourne just 3 weeks prior. The Tigers would keep the same 17 as named during the week.

The first half had very few highlights, as it turned into a grinding contest pretty quickly. Errors were the name of the game, and it once again was a penalty goal that got the scoring going. The Storm thought they had a try, however a knock on in goal was relieved with a penalty as Luke Brooks ran a Storm player off the ball. With Cameron Smith managing a quad injury and Stimson on the bench, Brodie Croft took the kicking tee and made it 2-0 after 18 minutes.

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak nearly capped off a brilliant Tigers set 6 minutes later, with his effort off a Benji Marshall kick ending up one pubic hair from the try-line. Suliasi Vunivalu made a try-saving tackle to deny the Tigers, however his partner in Josh Addo-Carr gifted the Tigers a try. The man known as "The Fox" had a brain fart and lobbed the ball back inside the field instead of letting it run, with Esan Marsterss offloading to Josh Aloiai for the try. Tui Lolohea missed the conversion, and it looked to be 4-2 going into the break.

Cameron Munster would take advantage of a scrum with a minute left in the half to kick behind the line and let Billy Slater run onto it for the first Melbourne Storm try. Brodie Croft would make no mistake as the Storm would take an 8-4 lead into half time.

The second half was another grinding affair, with Cameron Smith stepping up to lead his team around out of dummy half. It would be another penalty goal to get the scoring going in the second half, as Brodie Croft extended the Storm's lead to 10-4 after Cameron Munster was held back supporting a good Jesse Bromwich run.

Brodie Croft would go from hero to villain as a mix up with Suliasi Vunivalu led to a Tigers drop out from the kick off. The Tigers would take advantage the next set, as Luke Brooks sent Chris Lawrence through from close range to make it 10-8. Tui Lolohea made it 10-10 with 20 minutes left, and it was on for young and old after that.

Both teams would try to break the line, and both would get close. A missed field goal from Croft gave the Tigers a 7 tackle set and from that set, Benji Marshall would sink the field goal that would give the Wests Tigers an 11-10 win.

The Tigers now go to a 4-1 record, travelling to Manly next week to take on the Sea Eagles. Melbourne, who are now struggling slightly at 2-3, are back at home to face the Newcastle Knights.



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