Melbourne Storm topples NRL ladder leaders Brisbane Broncos

Melbourne overcame NRL ladder leaders Brisbane in an intense struggle at AAMI Park.

Melbourne overcame NRL ladder leaders Brisbane in an intense struggle at AAMI Park. Photo: AAP

Melbourne Storm has edged Brisbane Broncos in a drama-charged NRL clash to extend its long domination over the ladder leaders.

Thursday night’s match at Melbourne’s AAMI Park had Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds stretchered off in a neck brace, a penalty try, three Brisbane players sin-binned and two players put on report, while the Storm blew two certain tries.

But the home side did enough in the end to book a 24-16 victory and stretch their winning streak against Brisbane to 13, with the visitors still winless at Storm’s home ground since 2016.

The teams were locked at 10-10 at half-time with Brisbane having lost veteran halfback Reynolds after he hit his head on the ground diving in an unsuccessful attempt to ground a loose ball for a try.

He was taken from the field on a medi-cab but later cleared of a serious neck injury.

In the same play the NRL bunker awarded a penalty try to the Broncos, ruling that Storm hooker Harry Grant had pushed Herbie Farnworth in the back as he also raced for the ball.

Melbourne’s opening try was scored by Cameron Munster while it missed another opportunity when Justin Olam was bumped into touch by fullback Reece Walsh, who could find himself in trouble for a shoulder charge.

Queensland Origin hopeful Walsh was everywhere and set up Brisbane’s second try with a long cut-out pass to Jesse Arthars that caught the Storm defence short.

The Broncos were forced to play the final three minutes of the half down a man when Farnworth was sent to the bin for a professional foul for impeding his opposite Reimis Smith.

Smith earlier found trouble himself, put on report for a dangerous tackle.

The home side took immediate advantage and sent the ball wide to Will Warbrick, with five-eighth Ezra Mam unable to stop the rampaging winger.

It looked like Melbourne had broken the 10-10 deadlock after Walsh spilt a Munster bomb, with Warbrick again touching down. However it was ruled that Xavier Coates, who had pressured the fullback, was offside at the kick.

Six minutes later Mam made up for his earlier lapse when he dislodged the ball from second-rower Eliesa Katoa as he dived across the line, with coach Storm Craig Bellamy unable to hide his disgust.

The Broncos were again forced to toil a man down, with Patrick Carrigan put on report and sent to the bin for a hip-drop tackle and again they paid the price.

Coates spilt a Jahrome Hughes bomb but the ball went backwards with OIam pouncing for a 16-10 scoreline before a Nick Meaney penalty gave the team more breathing space.

Warbrick got his second try in the 74th minute when Walsh fumbled a kick and Hughes snatched up the ball and kicked wide for his winger to extend the margin to 14 points.

Brisbane hooker Cory Paix scored with two minutes left but the Broncos had their third player sent to the bin with Thomas Flegler dismissed along with Melbourne’s Aaron Pene after a scuffle.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.